Teacher training transfer window opens

As I hinted in a recent post, things are seemingly not going to plan in this year’s recruitment round for teacher preparation courses. If they were, then today’s announcement from the NCTL would not have appeared offering as it does additional places to providers with courses that are full. http://www.emcsrv.com/prolog/NCTL/Additional-HEI-places-available-for-2014-guide.pdf What is interesting is not so much the list of secondary subjects reproduced below, but the fact that places are also still up for grabs for non-specialist primary trainees.

According to the NCTL places are available in the following subjects:

  • biology
  • citizenship
  • classics
  • computer science
  • design & technology
  • engineering
  • geography
  • health and social care
  • modern languages
  • music
  • religious education
  • primary mathematics specialist and
  • all non-specialist primary

And the NCTL will continue to allocate places on request for all physics and maths courses, as it has done all year.

It remains to be seen how responsive schools and universities will be at this stage of the year to the invitation to top up courses that are full.

What this move by the NCTL will mean for the regional distribution of places is not clear. In the case of geography, often a bellwether subject in terms of charting recruitment challenges, most regions of England have six or seven schools showing no vacancies today on the UCAS web site and would thus be eligible to take on more places. Helpfully, there are nine such schools in London, and 12 in the south East where teachers are often needed in greater numbers.

Two of the four universities that would be allowed to recruit more trainees are in the North East, where there appear to be no schools with their full allocation. The other two universities that could bid for more places are one each in London and the South East according to the UCAS public site.

It is surprisingly to see primary places being offered in June as historically almost all courses are fully recruited by now; many with waiting lists.

What the announcement does to the government’s intention to transfer more training to schools will not become clear until the autumn, when it will become clear how many places have been taken up, and by what providers. If these places need to be filled, and are not, then next summer some schools may struggle to recruit new teachers in a wider range of subjects than I was predicting only a couple of weeks ago.

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2 thoughts on “Teacher training transfer window opens

  1. In our case, we are still looking for a couple of biologists to fill our original allocation but filled chemistry months ago – no extra places there though. This is hardly surprising given that anyone with even a whiff of biochemistry in their degree has understandably applied for chemistry with it’s massively higher bursary. It’s all very well the NCTL offering more biology places but it’s hard to see the merit in tempting all the biochemists into chemistry places and then trying to paper over the shortage in biology in June. Had we been offered more biology places earlier we might have been able to inspire a few more undergraduates out of the life science courses but they’ve all done exams and gone home now. We were actually expecting stronger recruitment in biology so haven’t put much energy into marketing to the undergrads. On the plus side the physicists are still trickling in (always apply late) and I think we could be over our original allocation for both physics and physics with maths soon.

  2. Good to hear that physicists are still applying. Do others find in subjects where more males than females apply that recruitment is often later in the cycle? The move of biochemists towards the better bursary was flagged last year and NCTL should have been monitoring effect on biology throughout this cycle to ensure we aren’t short of biologists and as a result scientists overall despite having enough chemists.
    I agree this move it late, although there is sometimes a post-finals spurt as new graduates face reality. We will see what happens over the next few weeks.

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