POSTGRADUATE teacher training is enjoying a late flurry of applications - but recruitment remains heavily down on last year's figures and Government targets, Nicolas Barnard writes.
Application figures for post-graduate certificate in education courses show all subjects closing the gap on last year's recruitment, compared to the lowpoint of March this year. Recruitment in English is now marginally higher than last year - in May it was 5 per cent down.
But the figures, for secondary school teaching courses, offer scant hope of an end to the recruitment crisis. Maths and physics remain the biggest problems - maths applications are still 22 per cent down on 1997, while physics is 37 per cent down.
Numbers accepted onto courses by August 15 were even further behind the same date last year - 39 per cent down in physics, and 7 per cent down in English according to the Graduate Teacher Training Register. Only 150 physics graduates have been accepted onto PGCE courses. Maths is recruiting at just 40 per cent of its Government target.
The Government has promised action on the recruitment crisis. A green paper in the autumn will set out a new pay structure with salaries reaching Pounds 40,000 for the best teachers.