Trainee teacher targets might signal recruitment crisis
The number of new graduates being signed up for initial teacher training courses in England have been missed for the third year running, prompting concerns that it might signal a recruitment crisis in the teaching profession.
Because of the high numbers of teachers needed in England's schools and the high level of staff turnover (7-8% of the workforce) between 35,000 and 40,000 newly trained teachers are needed every year.
In addition, a population bulge is due to begin hitting secondary schools from autumn 2016, and an estimated extra 800,000 pupils in secondary schools by 2022.
Government statisticians estimated that 18,451 new secondary trainees would be needed for the next academic year. However, just 15,114 were recruited on to courses for secondary subjects.
Association of School and College Leaders general secretary Brian Lightman said: "We continue to be immensely concerned about the teacher recruitment crisis which is affecting schools all over the country.
"This means that there are more than 3,400 fewer secondary trainees entering the profession this year than are needed.
"There are serious shortfalls in the core subjects of maths and science, and also in languages and geography, both of which are also English Baccalaureate subjects.
"The government wants 90% of pupils to sit GCSEs in the English Baccalaureate subjects. How will this be possible when there will clearly not be enough teachers for them?"
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "What the figures don't capture is that even in subjects where recruitment appears to be close to target, those trainees might not be where they're most needed once they're qualified. They also don't capture the ever-increasing workload and a growing gap between private and public wages in a context of high rents and mortgages, which are driving many excellent teachers out of what can be a deeply rewarding profession."
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