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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 12:37 GMT
'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers
Recruitment figures show fewer graduates are applying for teaching

The cash bonuses offered to recruit extra teachers in shortage subjects are not attracting enough applicants.

According to early figures from the Graduate Teacher Training Register, this year's statistics for one-year teacher training courses reveal a slump in applications, after an increase last year.

The "golden hellos" which offer 5,000 for students entering postgraduate teacher training for maths, science and modern languages have failed to make a lasting impact on the teacher shortage.

After a 30% rise in last year's applications for teaching maths, this year has so far seen a 20% fall - but the government says that it is too early in the applications cycle to make predictions about the final recruitment figures.

The current application figures also show falls of 27% for chemistry teachers and 22% for French teachers.

But rejecting the suggestion that the golden hellos were losing their appeal, the government says that at this stage last year only 14% of the final number of candidates had submitted applications.

Training salary

The Liberal Democrats' education spokesman, Phil Willis, said that the dip in applications showed that trainee teachers should be paid a salary representing half of the earnings of a qualified teacher.

Without an across the board training salary, there was a danger that a selective use of financial incentives would create shortages in other subjects.

But the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, David Hart, said that the slump in applications reflected the "very competitive jobs market" which offered alternative careers to teaching.

"Teaching is having to fight very hard to attract good graduates and at the moment it is failing."
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See also:
19 Jul 99 |  Education
Blair's cash offer to language teachers
13 Mar 99 |  Education
Bursary idea for trainee teachers
18 Sep 99 |  Education
Pay student teachers a salary - Lib Dems
17 Feb 99 |  Education
Schools 'rely on foreign teachers'
20 Jul 99 |  Education
Teacher recruitment figures disputed

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