I have now had a little longer to look through the UCAS data issued yesterday. It is supplemented by the daily data issued to help keep providers aware of the changes at the margin. However, the purpose of this post is to look at offers this year compared with the same point last year.
An offer for this purpose is anyone with an unconditional offer, a conditional offer or holding an offer pending a decision. Added together these three groups provide a view of the best outcome to date against the total of applications. Of course, the total applications contains multiple applications from many candidates and eventually only one offer is held. However, since the same system was in use last year it is interesting to see what difference the additional numbers attracted to teaching and the introduction of recruitment controls have made.
The following table reviews the percentage of offers to the total of applications received made both last year and this year in February for a range of secondary subjects.
|2016||2015||diff 2016 on 2015|
|Computer Studies + IT||26||26||0|
Generally, offers as a percentage of applications are higher this year than at the same point last year, significantly so in history, music and English. However, in IT and mathematics there has been no change compared with the same point last year. On balance, it seems that where recruitment controls were expected, and indeed introduced, offers account for a higher percentage of applications than at this stage last year.
The question is has this affected quality in any way? And, has it affected the balance of applicants accepted by gender, ethnicity and disability? We won’t fully know until the end of the year. The other issue is whether the same percentage of those offered conditional places, presumably mostly on completing a degree and passing the skills tests do actually manage both. The former hurdle may be easier than the latter.
What we don’t really know is the extent of the geographical consequences of the increased offers. Hopefully, they are in the places where they are needed and not offered to location specific candidates in the more favoured areas of the country when it comes to teacher supply. More clarify on this point would help shape the debate. And, in some subjects, ‘favoured’ is a relative term when the gap to the Teacher Supply Model total is still likely to be a wide one.