There was some good news for the government today. The publication by UCAS of applications to graduate teacher training courses reveal mcuh higher numbers than in January 2014 or January 2105. I expect Ministers and the DfE to make the most of these numbers. However, before they do say anything, they need to ask are the question: how many more applicants are there likely to be across the whole cycle and to what extent is the increase related to recruitment controls and the publicity associated with the handling of the application process?
Don’t get me wrong, every extra applicant in the process now is to be welcomed as there remains another seven months to reach the targets so often missed in some subjects over recent years.
First the headlines; There were seemingly 63,390 applications for courses in England this January compared with 60,890 at the same point last year. That’s 2,500 additional applications across both primary and secondary sectors. Interestingly, only 270 extra applications were from men whereas there were just over 1,500 more from women. The difference is probably due to the number of applications allowed in the process and whether all applicants used every possible choices. Still, these figures might spark a debate about the consequences in a subject such as Physical Education where schools like to employ both men and women.
Also of interest is the fact that in England applications are up from those in both the younger and older age-groups, but down compared with 2015 among 23 and 24 year old graduates.
Among the secondary subjects the numbers placed, conditionally placed or holding offers were pretty much up across the board. In languages it was 1,280 this year compared with 820 in January 2015. For other subjects (with the January 2015 number in brackets) it was; RE 200 (130); PE 1,250 (760); Physics 150 (110); Music 150 (80); Mathematics 610 (500); History 840 (410); Geography 310 (180); English 1,070 (650); Design & Technology 350 (80); IT 140 (100); Chemistry 270 (140); Business Studies 80 (50); Biology 410 (220) and Art 270 (130).
Many of these were the sort of level seen n February 2015 so the flow of applicants over the next month will be important in considering where the outcome for the recruitment round might end up.
There is more to consider, including the changes over the different routes, but that will have to await another day; hopefully tomorrow.