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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
Teacher training success varies
Cambridge's new education faculty
Cambridge's new education faculty enjoys top slot
Some universities' trainee teachers are more than twice as likely as others to get into jobs, analysis shows.

The study of the official training agency profiles is compiled annually by Buckingham University's Centre for Education and Employment Research.

This year's shows 90% of secondary trainees at Cambridge were in schools six months later, compared with 37% of those at London South Bank.

Cambridge has overtaken Oxford as the overall top training provider.

At the worst performing institutions many trainees failed to complete their courses or were listed as still looking for work.

In compiling the ratings, Buckingham's also compares institutions using the qualifications students already have as they begin training.

School-based success

Researchers Alan Smithers and Pamela Robinson say the rate of those failing to complete their courses is connected with their entry qualifications.

At Cambridge, more than 70% had a first class or upper second degree, compared with 14% at South Bank, 36% at London Metropolitan and 41% at Bradford College.

And older universities attracted better candidates than former specialist teacher training colleges.

Those who had been through school-based training were more likely to have taken up teaching posts.

Prof Smithers said: "London Met prides itself on widening access by accepting a diverse array of entry qualifications, but its poor conversion rate of trainees to teachers must give pause."

Shortage subjects

The difficulty of recruiting would-be teachers in certain subjects shows up in the entry qualifications of those who do get on to the courses.

Nine out of 10 would-be classics teachers had firsts or upper seconds, but only 42% of those doing maths and modern languages.

"A number of the core subjects of the curriculum find it hard to recruit teachers," Prof Smithers said.

"That must raise questions about the expertise and enthusiasm of the teachers in these areas."

A spokesperson for the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said: "Graduates with qualifications in certain subjects such as maths and science are in high demand and teaching is competing aggressively with other recruiters for the very best graduates.

"The TDA¿s teacher recruitment campaign will continue to work hard to attract the people that are required to train as teachers each year."

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