The missing 3,659: Troubling decline in teacher training recruits

The erosion of pay and a failure to tackle workload are squarely to blame for this year’s missed trainee teacher recruitment targets at secondary level, it was said this week.

The Covid recruitment bounce seen last year has disappeared and 2021/22 has seen only 82 per cent of the secondary teachers required recruited into initial teacher training (ITT).

Furthermore, some subjects face notable shortfalls in teacher trainee numbers – not least physics where only 567 teachers have been recruited against a government target of 2,530 (22 per cent).

In total there were 37,069 new entrants to ITT in 2021/22 compared to 40,377 in 2020/21 (the Covid bounce), and 33,799 in 2019/20.

Of the new entrants, 31,233 are starting or expecting to start postgraduate ITT – down from 34,394 last year, but up from 28,917 in 2019/20 (the remaining 5,836 trainees are new entrants to undergraduate ITT).

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