Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at teacher recruitment and school funding.
Yesterday, Thursday 29 November, we published the initial teacher training (ITT) census for the academic year. This shows the number of teachers who started ITT courses in 2018/19. This was covered in both the Times and the Sun.
The figures show strong progress in many areas from last year, including an 8% increase in the number of trainee teachers recruited – up to 34,595. Postgraduate recruitment is also at its highest level since 2011/12, with 29,255 postgraduate trainee teachers recruited – also 8% more than last year. We also saw 3,230 trainees recruited to science, over 600 more than last year – and surpassed our target number for primary school trainee recruitment.
The quality of new entrants into teaching remains high, with 19% of this year’s cohort holding a first-class degree. We are supporting this high quality of recruitment with our recruitment and retention strategy. This involves working with teachers, unions and professional bodies to develop the existing work already undertaken to support schools.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
The fact that more than 34,500 new trainee teachers started teacher training courses this year – over 2,600 more than in 2017 – despite a competitive labour market shows that teaching continues to be an attractive career for able graduates. This includes the highest number of new postgraduates since 2011/12, and the quality of entrants remains high with 19 per cent holding a first-class degree.
We want to continue attracting talented individuals into our classrooms and recently announced generous bursaries and scholarships in priority subjects, including physics and chemistry, and boosted financial incentives in subjects such as history and Design & Technology. This comes as we are preparing a recruitment and retention strategy to help schools attract and retain talented teachers, and follows the Education Secretary’s commitment to champion the profession, tackle workload and support teachers in the early years of their career.
Yesterday, Thursday 29 November, ComRes and the National Association of Head Teachers released the results of their research into the opinions of Members of Parliament on school funding levels. This was reported by the Independent.
The core schools budget has been protected in real-terms since 2010, and is set to rise from £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20 with increasing pupil numbers. We are making funding fairer across the country, whilst still recognising that budgets remain tight for many schools – this is why we help head teachers to make the most of their budgets and reduce on expenses such as energy, water bills and materials.
In addition, we have more pupils in schools rated Good or Outstanding – this figure stands at 86% - an increase from 66% in 2010.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:
Children only have one chance at an education – they all deserve the best. Since 2010 we’ve raised standards in thousands of classrooms, protected school funding and made it fairer across the country.
While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and that we are asking them to do more. That’s why we’re supporting schools and head teachers to make the most of every pound.