BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Education  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 12:00 GMT
Big rise in would-be teachers
teacher with whiteboard
Maths teachers are in short supply
Many more people are applying to train as teachers in Britain - but still not as many as the government aims to recruit.


Bursaries and golden hellos for shortage subjects have already made teacher training a much more attractive choice

Education secretary, Estelle Morris
Latest figures from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry show there have been 31.7% more applicants for places on courses starting this autumn than last year.

In England, the increase was 4,781 or 22.5% - from 21,289 at the same time last year, to 26,070.

More applications might be expected - last year almost 29,000 people eventually started training.

But the government increased the number of training places available this year by 6%, to 31,790.

In Wales the rise in the number of applicants is 40.7%, from 1,572 to 2,212.

Strategy 'working'

The number of applicants for places at Scottish training centres is 3,362.

This total has apparently leapt almost 187% but is distorted by the fact that figures are being counted from more institutions this year.

All the figures relate to students on post-graduate training courses as primary or secondary school teachers, not those studying education as a degree subject who usually go on to teach only in primary schools.

In England, where teacher shortages are most acute, the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, said the figures were another sign that the strategy to recruit more teachers was beginning to work.

"I know we have much more to do but we are making real progress," she said.

Special deals

"The introduction of teacher training bursaries and golden hellos for shortage subjects have already made teacher training a much more attractive choice for graduates."

Another proposal, to pay off the student loans of new teachers in the subjects where there are the biggest shortages, is part of the Education Bill now going through Parliament.

Ms Morris said salaries for newly-qualified teachers had increased by 50% since 1997.

The "shortage subjects" in England - in which teachers are most needed - are mathematics, science, English, modern languages, design and technology or information and communication technology.

There has been an increase of almost 342% in the numbers wanting to teach social studies, 162% for biology and 119% for English.

But still not enough

The Liberal Democrat education spokesman, Phil Willis, said that in key subjects such as maths there was still an alarming shortfall.

"The 2002 figures may show an increase of the overall number of graduates applying for teacher training but at current levels the government will again fail to meet its own recruitment target," he said.

Ministers should drop "gimmicks" such as the golden hellos and accelerated salary progression, and instead offer a full training salary for all trainee teachers.

"Most worrying is the area of mathematics where only 453 students have applied for 1,800 places."

This assumed a drop-out rate of 30%.

Research published by the National Union of Teachers has shown that that of every 100 final year teacher training students, at least 40 did not go into classrooms.

Another 18% left within three years of becoming teachers.

nol graphic

Latest news

Analysis

Features

TALKING POINT
See also:

08 Dec 01 | UK Education
07 Dec 01 | UK Education
01 Nov 01 | UK Education
04 Sep 01 | UK Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes