Today’s education in the media blog explains why it is misleading to draw conclusions about teacher recruitment from monthly bulletins.
Yesterday, Thursday 4 January, UCAS published figures for recruitment to initial teacher training (ITT) for the period from 26 October to 17 December. This is part of a series of monthly releases charting recruitment throughout the year.
This recruitment process runs for a full year, while the figures in question relate to just a seven-week window of time. As applicants can apply at any point throughout the year, we would expect to see fluctuations in applications month by month. Given these figures were taken from very early on in the recruitment cycle, while they are useful in helping us understand when people apply for courses, they should not at this stage be used as a barometer for any year-on-year trends on teacher recruitment.
More accurate conclusions can be drawn from comparisons of our year-on-year census data, which last year showed that there are more teachers than ever before in our schools and more than 32,000 trainee teachers were recruited – 815 more than the previous year.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
There are now a record number of teachers in our schools – 15,500 more than in 2010 – and the fact that more than 32,000 new trainee teachers have recently been recruited in a competitive labour market, with historic low unemployment rates and a growing economy, shows that the profession continues to be an attractive career.
We want to do all we can to help schools with recruitment which is why we have a range of generous bursaries designed to recruit more teachers in important subjects such as maths and physics. We are also creating a free website for schools to publish vacancies to help reduce costs and make it easier for aspiring and current teachers to find new posts.