Good news for English

On Tuesday the National College published the allocation for teacher preparation courses starting in 2015 ahead of the opening of the recruitment round through UCAS next month. The good news is that after several years of concern that the allocation for English was below what might be expected the allocation for 2015 entry has increased by around 600 to 2,348 while the underlying estimate of need has increased by almost 1,000 to 2,253. This increase is as a result of changes to the Teacher Supply model highlighted in the previous post on this blog.

Overall, the allocations show a continued drift towards school-led provision although the direction of travel in the secondary sector wasn’t as great as it might have been because of an increase of more than 4,000 in the total of places allocated.  The Salaried Route on School Direct hasn’t seen a large expansion, with 4,589 of the 4,712 bids being accepted. The growth has mainly been in the tuition fee route where 8,437 secondary and 4,623 primary places have been allocated. SCITTs account for 3,663 places, and HEIs of all descriptions 22,244 or almost half of the 43,516 places allocated.

Schools have more places than HE in Art, Chemistry, computing, design & technology, drama, English, geography, history, mathematics, music when SCITT numbers are included, PE and Physics. HE has more places than schools in Biology, business studies, classics, other subjects and Religious Education. The last is despite the large number of faith-based secondary schools.

Of course, everyone has to recruit to these places and the concern must be with so many more places to fill some parts of the country will fill places all their places whereas others won’t. In those circumstances the mobility of future trainees will be of vital importance. Through the TeachVac system I am pioneering a means of collecting that information starting with the current secondary trainees. More information can be found at  and current trainees can already register job preferences for where they will be looking for jobs when recruitment starts in the New Year. More details in a future post, including our first view of the current job market using our new recording system.

Along with allocations to schools and higher education, the NCTL have also published figures for Teach First allocations for the 2015 to 2016 academic year. They have been allocated 2,000 places; three-quarter in the secondary sector with numbers ranging from 430 in English and 308 places in mathematics down to 15 in design and technology.

Primary allocations nationally total 20,072 for 2015, slightly less than the 21,870 that were the total allocations last year. With half the primary allocations in HE going to undergraduate places there will be around 14,000 trainees on one-year courses in schools and HE plus the 2012 entrants to undergraduate courses that will have amount to around another 6,000 trainees making around 20,000 new primary teachers in 2016.

The next key data will be the ITT census in November when we will know the full extent of recruitment for this year. By then we will have started to analyse the state of the job market and can begin to make forecasts for recruitment into schools in 2015.

5 thoughts on “Good news for English

  1. For the second year running, we have been given 0 core English places at the University of Reading, but this year we gain 20 core Art places. We are delighted with the Art places but continue to worry about English. Collectively, for 2015/16 our schools asked for 54 School Direct English places, however, our schools received 34 English School Direct places.

    This year, schools under recruited in English so currently instead of 25 we are training only 17. I know these are small numbers, but schools are perplexed why there are no core English nor enough School Direct English places allocated to them, when many of their English classes are taught by non-specialist or unqualified teachers.

    • Caroline,

      What can I say. There are around 600 more English places for 2015 so someone has to have received them. I will look in detail at the allocations and see whether I can spot what has happened to the Thames Valley. They certainly gone not gone to Oxford. I guess your University will need to take all these matters up with NCTL. You might also invite Rob Wilson your MP to discuss the issue with the Department and some local head experiencing recruitment challenges.

      John Howson

  2. We didn’t get any provider-led English either (2nd year running). Across our partnership it varied with a few Alliances getting their full bid but most about half of what they wanted. In total we’ve got about half the places the partnership bid for. There continues to be anecdotal evidence of significant recruitment problems in this area for English but presumably the NCTL think that the overall picture in this area is comfortable. We have had a noticeable increase in PL biology – this looks a lot like a follow-up to the effective un-capping of biology last year – but a further squeeze on PL chemistry. SD chemistry bids have nearly all been allocated so we should have somewhere for them to go but I continue to think that, in an area with mostly 11-16 schools, squeezing anywhere is ultimately a squeeze on science teachers. A bit more money for biologists might help a touch but cranking up the allocations doesn’t create the demand so it’s a tall order to find 50% more of them than for this year – we’ll see. The biggest problem is the instability with some subjects going down to cohorts of 1 or 0 for PL and then back up, making long-term planning very difficult.

  3. As I have said elsewhere there are around 600 more places for English in 2015 as DfE/NCTL has recognised the shortfall in training numbers. Most have been allocated via SD tuition fees as schools have bid for places presumably because they have been experiencing recruitment challenges and see this as a means of dealing with the problem. I expect Biology has under-recruited this year as the bursary is better in chemistry for bio-chemists but hopefully it will do better next year, especially if the economy slows down a bit and teaching starts to look attractive again as a career.

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