Initial Teacher Training

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union has commented on the release of the trainee number census for 2018-19.

 “We are at a crisis in secondary teacher recruitment. For the sixth year in a row, the Department for Education has failed to recruit enough secondary teachers overall, based on its own targets. They will say they are training more teachers than ever but the problem is compounded year on year, as each year's targets do not seek to address pre-existing shortages or previous missed targets.

“Physics has only recruited 47% of the number of trainees the DfE says it needs, down 19 percentage points on its performance against target last year. Maths recruitment is also worse this year, as are Chemistry and Modern Foreign Languages. With 428,000 more pupils forecast for state-funded secondary schools by 2025, an increase of 15% on 2018 figures, the NEU has serious concerns that the Government does not have teacher supply under control.

“It is pleasing to see Primary targets met, along with Biology, English and History. However, recruitment to training courses is only one piece of a puzzle. Retention is also a huge problem with one third of teachers leaving within the first 5 years of qualifying. (1) This is clearly bad for the education of children and young people.

“Another clear message is that the UK is failing to attract overseas teachers; the award of QTS for EEA nationals is down 25% on last year, and non-EEA nationals 14%.

“If we are to recruit and retain the teachers we need, Government must look and act very quickly on the issues of pay, workload and ensuring all schools are properly funded. 

ENDS

Press release
29 November 2018