At this time of year we start to expect to see the conditional offers for the various ITT places made by providers turned into firm ‘placed’ students. After all, degree results should have been confirmed by now and the bulk of those offered places should have taken and passed the pre-entry skills tests, so there ought to be nothing to stop candidates confirming that they will be taking up their place. As a result, it is a little worrying to see in the UCAS data published yesterday that the percentage of those with offers regarded as ‘placed’ is in some secondary subjects is below where it was at this point last year. There are also more than 100 fewer candidates holding offers than at this point last year. Now that shouldn’t matter in subjects where recruitment controls mean few applicants have been offered places in recent months, but lower numbers holding offers in physics and IT might mean these subjects will struggle to fill all their available places.
After analysing the available data, it seems to me, barring any last minute hiccups, that languages, PE, history, geography, English, biology and art should meet their targets for recruitment. On the other hand, RE, physics, music, mathematics and IT look as if they are unlikely to do so. The jury is out on chemistry and business studies. The latter may well meet the government target, but that target is woefully short of the demand for these teachers in the real world. It is difficult to know what is happening in design and technology because UCAS have reported the data in a different way this year to previous years, so we have no real comparison to judge application by.
There is a serious question to be asked by the new ministerial team about how well the present arrangements are delivering sufficient trainees on the different routes into teaching. The following data looks only at the secondary sector. The diversion of places away from universities means 200 few placed candidates, but 700 more conditional placed applications compared with this point last year among He providers. Fortunately, there are 250 more applications in the holding offer status. SCITTs have more placed and conditionally placed than at this point last year, but fewer holding offers than this point last year.
Among School Direct, the fee route has 30 fewer placed trainees, but 750 more conditionally placed and about the same number holding offers. For the School Direct salaried route, there are 100 fewer placed, but 210 more conditionally placed and 30 fewer holding an offer.
What happens to the ‘conditionally placed’ applications over the next month will determine the shape of the 2017 recruitment round for schools, since these are the new teachers entering the labour market next year. Overall, there are 270 fewer applicants across all countries than at this point last year, with the majority of the reduction being in England. The good news, well relative good news, is that the gender balance has remained the same as last year at about one third men to two thirds women. UCAS don’t provide data on ethnicity of applicants.