Preliminary figures for applicants to postgraduate teacher preparation courses handled through UCAS show a fall in applicants domiciled in England of around 1,000 when compared with September 2015 figures. As a result, the number placed decreased from 21,710 in September 2015 to 21,150 this September. However, the number conditionally placed increased to 4,980 compared with 4,740 in 2015. Overall, this meant the decline was just over 300 in total compared with last year.
As this blog has reported already this year, the main reduction in applicants is among the 22-25 year olds, with part of the decline in applicants from these age groups being masked by an increase in career changers over the age of 30 having applied.
Overall, it looks as if the percentage accepted rose slightly from 62% of applicants to 63% this year. There was a further, albeit small, decline in the number of men applying, from 15,900 in 2015 to 15,570 this year.
London remains the most popular place to become a teacher, despite the additional costs associated with living in the city, with 27,530 applications for courses in London. However, this was down from 29,530 in 2015, whereas applications increased in the North East, East Midlands and in Wales.
Although there were more applicants placed on secondary courses in 2016 compared with 2015, up from 14,600 to 15,750 (including those conditionally placed and holding offers) the number placed on primary courses has fallen by over 1,000 from 12,970 to 11,510. This must be a matter for concern as it may well lead to shortages of new entrants in some areas for primary main scale vacancies in September 2017.
There seems to have been little change in numbers on the the School Direct Salaried route, at around 3,300, possibly because of small fall in applications for this route despite the general increase in applications from older graduates.
As far as individual secondary subjects are concerned, this has been a better year for applications in many subjects than 2015, although the increase has not be universal. The actual outcome won’t be known until the ITT census in November, but on the basis of this UCAS data it appears that the following might be the outcome in relation to the government’s Teacher Supply Model number (minus the Teach First allocation, where applications are not handled by UCAS).
Art & Design – acceptances above 2015, but not likely to be enough to meet the TSM number.
Biology – acceptances above 2015 and should meet TSM number
Business Studies – acceptances above 2015, close to TSM, but the TSM isn’t large enough to meet demand from schools for these teachers.
Chemistry – acceptances above 2015 and should meet TSM number.
IT/computing – acceptances below last year and not enough to meet TSM.
Design & Technology – the position is unclear from the UCAS data but TSM may not be met.
English – acceptances similar to last year and should meet TSM number.
Geography – acceptances above 2015 and should meet TSM number.
History – acceptances above 2015 and should meet TSM number.
Mathematics – acceptances above last year, but probably still not enough to meet the TSM number.
Music – acceptances above 2015 and should meet TSM number.
Physics – acceptances above 2015, but probably still not enough to meet the TSM number.
Physical Education – acceptances below last year due to the effects of the recruitment controls, but should be enough to meet TSM.
Religious Education – acceptances below last year and not enough to meet TSM.
Languages – difficult to determine exact position from the UCAS data, but should easily meet TSM number on the basis of acceptances.
On the basis of the above, we can already express concern about the supply of business studies, design and technology and physics teachers for 2017. Schools needing to look for a teacher of English that aren’t either linked to Teach First or with a School Direct salaried trainee may be potentially facing problems, especially in those areas where there is keen competition for teachers between the private and state sectors.
The government may be able to anticipate the ITT census with a degree of relief this year, assuming that a sufficiently large number of those still shown as conditionally placed actually turned up when courses started. If they didn’t, for whatever reasons, then this relatively optimistic assessment will have proved meaningless.