The number of people starting teacher-training courses this year is up by more than 11 per cent, with a quarter more recruits to maths and physics.
But the rate of applications slowed down significantly over the summer, which suggests that widespread reporting of classroom redundancies could have put off potential late recruits.
Ministers and the Teacher Training Agency will welcome the record-breaking 25,346 trainees who were due to start postgraduate courses in England, up 2,638 from last year. But these statistics are inflated because they do not record people who accepted places but then withdrew.
For example, in maths, of the 1,663 trainees accepted on to courses in September, more than 60 have already dropped out.
In some subjects, courses are accepting almost every candidate who applies.
But Professor John Howson, director of Education Data Services, said high acceptance rates raised questions about the quality of candidates.