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Training salary lures men into classrooms

The promised pay cheque has led to a big rise in enquiries into teaching courses, reports Nicolas Barnard

TRAINING salaries have produced a big jump in enquiries from men and ethnic minorities - two key target areas for recruitment to the teaching profession.

New figures from the Teacher Training Agency show enquiries from men interested in primary teaching have risen by 18 per cent compared with last year, faster than those from women and reversing a long-standing trend.

Applications from men are also understood to have jumped by 5 per cent since the announcement of the pound;6,000-a-year salaries in March. Enquiries from members of ethnic minorities for all courses are up by 5 per cent.

The agency today also an-nounced details of its revamped graduate teacher programme, which offers on-the-job trining. Schools can apply for grants of pound;13,000 to cover trainees' salaries. The TTA also offers extra support in applying and running training. Up to 500 places are available each term and applications for places in September are due by June 23.

Priority will go to shortage secondary subjects, primary trainees specialising in maths, science or technology, and to ethnic minority trainees and men heading for primary teaching. Ministers have long been concerned at the small number of men going into primaries, and at the general shortage of people from ethnic minorities.

Calls to the agency's hot line are said to have doubled to more than 4,000 a week since the salaries announcement. Places on taster courses are being booked up, and around a third of people who take these courses go on to train.

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