A Department for Education TV marketing campaign to encourage people to become teachers cost more than £4,000 for every person who registered their interest in a shortage subject, new figures have revealed.
This morning the government published an evaluation of its "Your Future, Their Future" marketing campaign.
According to the evaluation, between September 2014 and March 2018 the DfE's spend on TV and video marketing equated to £4,291 per person who registered their interest online in teaching in a shortage subject.
The shortage subjects were mathematics, chemistry, physics, modern languages and computer science.
Across all the DfE's marketing channels, the cost of achieving a website registration for any secondary subject stood at £198.
TV and video were among the least cost-effective channels to drive website registrations, while social media, paid search and digital display were the most cost-effective.
The average cost of achieving a shortage subject registration across all marketing channels was £607.
Teacher recruitment problems
John Howson, recruitment expert and visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, criticised the DfE's TV adverts as "highly unmemorable".
"'Your Future, Their Future', I have to say doesn't exactly grab me as a marketing slogan," he told Tes.
But he suggested that without the adverts the recruitment crisis could be even more acute.
He said: "You have to ask, if they didn't do it, would we be worse off?"
The report was one of two published today analysing the DfE’s marketing activities.
A report covering the department’s efforts from September 2012 to January 2016 estimated the spend on TV and video as £1,140 per person who registered their interest online in teaching in a shortage subject.
While today’s findings are likely to raise questions about the cost-effectiveness of the DfE’s spending, the department pointed to the fact that between September 2015 and March 2018 marketing activities brought an estimated extra 57 per cent of website registrations to the Get into Teaching site across all secondary subjects, with the figures suggesting an increase of up to 50 per cent in priority subjects.
The researchers concluded that the marketing activity "effectively boosted" the number of Ucas teacher training applicants, and linked the campaign in the 2016-17 academic year to an extra 8,150 applicants for secondary subjects.
Schools standards minister Nick Gibb said: “At a time of record employment with a very competitive labour market, it is important that we continue to attract even more talented individuals into the teaching profession.
"The marketing campaigns represent an important part of our overall approach to increasing teacher recruitment, building on the 34,500 new trainee teachers who started courses this year, with the highest number of new postgraduates trainees for six years.
“This week we’re launching a new campaign to encourage anyone thinking of changing their career to consider the life-enhancing experience of teaching. This latest research shows the impact this work can have in making people aware of the many routes into the profession.”