Teacher training applicant numbers have fallen

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The number of applicants for teacher training in England fell by 6.5% last year compared with the previous 12 months, according to a new analysis by UCAS.

The figures look at applications both for higher education and schools-based teacher training schemes.

There were 42,400 applicants from England in 2015, a decrease of 3,000 (-6.5%) compared to 2014. However, of these applicants, 25,300 were placed in 2015 (an acceptance rate of 59.7%) compared to 23,700 in 2014 (acceptance rate of 52.2%), meaning that more applicants secured a place this year.

In terms of applications (choices), providers in England received 128,700 applications in the 2015 cycle. This is a decrease on the number received in 2014 (139,600) of -7.8% (-10,900 applications). These providers accepted 26,900 applicants in 2015, compared to 25,000 in 2014, and so, despite the decrease in applications to these providers, they placed 1,900 more applicants (+7.5%).

For providers in Wales in 2015, 24% fewer applications (3,300) were received than in 2014 (4,400). And although these providers accepted a higher proportion of their applications in 2015 than they did in 2014, they placed 990 applicants by the end of the cycle, a decrease of 14.7% (-170 applicants) compared to their acceptances in 2014 of 1,160.

Overall, the number of applicants placed to English or Welsh providers saw a rise of 1,700 acceptances (+6.5%) to 27,900.

Despite the figures, a Department for Education spokeswoman said teaching remains hugely popular, with a rise of almost 7% in the number of people accepted to train as teachers in England and Wales last year.

Nansi Ellis, Association of Teachers and Lecturers assistant general secretary, said: ""While these figures highlight a small rise in the proportion of applicants accepted on teacher training courses, they don't show the rise in numbers needed to combat previously unmet teacher training targets.

"Teacher supply is becoming a critical issue in many schools. The government should look at factors which deter potential teachers from entering the profession and drive qualified teachers to leave early."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "There are over 1,000 more graduates training to teach secondary subjects in the 2015-2016 academic year compared to last, including record levels of trainees holding a first-class degree. The very latest UCAS figures show more people are applying and being accepted on training courses starting in September 2016."

For more information, see: https://www.ucas.com/corporate/news-and-key-documents/news/nearly-28000-people-accepted-teacher-training-programmes 

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