10% fewer new teachers risks major education crisis

The nation’s schools are on the verge of a major crisis as data shows that the number of new teachers has dropped by 10% compared with last year.

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The Department for Education’s (DfE’s) Teacher Supply target for 2017 looks set to be missed once again.

780 fewer new teachers are expected to be recruited into teacher training this year.

Data provided by UCAS for graduate numbers entering teacher preparation courses show that many secondary subjects will miss their target in 2017, with places for teacher training remaining unfilled this September.

Recruitment for critical subjects including Maths, Physics, Biology, Computing, Chemistry and English will fail to meet government targets. Only in PE and Drama do trainee numbers look likely to meet this year’s DfE’s Teacher Supply target.

In Geography, History, MFL, PE and Religious Education the total number of offers made through the UCAS system exceeds the number recruited last year but the target looks unlikely to be met as most courses start early in September.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran MP has written to the Education Secretary to ask what is being done to address the crisis in recruitment and retention.

Commenting on the news, Tom Brake MP said:

“This is yet more evidence of the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. Great education starts with great teachers, and great teachers are well trained. The Government is failing our students as without enough qualified teachers class sizes will rise further and more students will be taught by teachers not qualified in their subjects.

“Ministers must urgently address this shortage to ensure we have the great teaching workforce needed for the future.

“We need to understand why this dip has occurred. Reduced school budgets resulting in high workloads and low pay must be a contributing factor.

“Being a teacher is an incredibly rewarding job, but the conditions have been deteriorating in recent years. With record class sizes and numbers of teachers off sick from stress, I am sadly not surprised by this data. In the end, it's our children who suffer from lack of action by Government."

Notes

The full figures are available here.

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