Not a good year for ITT

The final set of UCAS numbers for ITT before most course start next month were published today. Earlier in the week, in preparation for the today’s publication, I took a look at the daily figures for a date in late August 2017 and compared them with the same date in 2016. The comparison didn’t make for encouraging reading.

Subject Difference between 2017 on 2016 offers Number of Placed and conditional firm 2017
ART & DESIGN -130 505
BIOLOGY -340 965
CHEMISTRY -110 855
DRAMA -25 350
ENGLISH 30 1855
GEOGRAPHY 300 1175
HISTORY 215 1135
MFL -50 1420
MUSIC -50 310
PHYSICS -140 690
OTHERS -95 500

In the table I have reproduced two sets of the data; the difference between the number of ‘placed’ and ‘conditionally firm’ offers made in 2017 compared with on the same date in 2016 and the actual number of place and conditional firm offers recorded across all four types of courses (higher education, SCITTs, and the two School Direct routes).  Now a couple of caveats; numbers are rounded, so are not exact, but indicative, and some people offed places may not turn up or stay when they do start the course. These decisions will affect the number in the published ITT census to be released in November. These changes could be balanced or, we live in hope, exceeded by those still in the system being processed at this time. However, in many subjects, the numbers awaiting offers and otherwise in the process of having their application considered is also lower than in 2016.

The good news is in Geography, history and physical education, where, in these subject, offers are up on 2016. In English and computing there are smaller improvements and certainly not enough to mean these subjects will hit their Teacher Supply Model number. Elsewhere, there is gloom with fewer offers than last year even when the ‘placed’ and ‘conditionally firm’ numbers have been added together.

On the basis of these figures, as this blog has been reporting since the start of the year, 2018 is likely to be a more challenging recruitment round for schools seeking teachers than 2017 has been, unless either funding cuts significantly reduce the demand for teachers or existing teachers receive a pay rise that absorbs more of school funds so reducing recruitment of teachers. TeachVac will report on those trends as the 2018 recruitment round unfolds from January 2018 onwards.

As this blog has reported consistently over the past few months, the key loss is from women in the 21-22 age groups, where offers are down by several hundred compared with recorded numbers last year. This is a very worrying trend and needs further investigation to see which subjects are especially affected as the increases in history and geography offers may be masking some quite large declines in other subjects. The DfE may wish to ask their advertising agency why the marketing campaign is not attracting this age group in the same numbers as in the past.

The other policy issue for the DfE to consider is where School Direct is heading? There are fewer offers for both the fee and salaried routes in secondary subjects this year, with English particularly badly affected. The decline in numbers on these routes will mean more schools competing for the trainees prepared through the higher education and SCITT routes where offers seem to have held up much better.

Now it may be that schools are switching from School Direct to consider an apprenticeship approach. If so, that change cannot be captured in this data but does need to be monitored somehow. If not, then the future direction of allocations will need consideration as to how to maximise entrants into the profession for 2019 onwards when secondary pupil numbers will be rising rapidly.



5 thoughts on “Not a good year for ITT

  1. I think the final position will be much worse. We have had a significant number drop out from all programmes over the summer, despite meeting the offer. Additionally skills test have had a negative effect…can anyone justify the cost of these..they are an unnecessary barrier. The main point though is students appear to be applying for teaching as a plan B and then finding something better to do.

    • Paul,

      Thank you for your comments. I hope that the NCTL is monitoring the situation. If dropout is above last year, then the figures will certainly be worse come the publication of the census in November, except in presumably history and geography where offers are way up on last year.


  2. Great work as always John. Knowing that the government will prop the final census figures up with Teach First numbers, I’ve combined your figures with some potential figures for TF. As you have previously mentioned even the 2017-18 allocation data for TF has yet to be published so I the best I can do is to suggest a repeat of the last census for TF.

    It would also help if UCAS published data on Deferred Entry which is possible for those on long SKE courses albeit in small numbers.

    When the Placed/CF numbers are combined with these former TF numbers and then compared with the TSM target for PG , this makes the shortfall even clearer. Currently standing overall at -16%. Apologies that this is in plain text but copied and pasted into Excel it should make sense.

    Subject,TF 2016-17,Placed/CF 2017-18,2017-18 Target,Success against TSM
    Art & design,0,505,577,-12%
    Business studies,28,165,218,-11%
    Design & technology,<5,315,917,-65%
    Physical education,0,1195,999,20%
    Religious education,15,430,643,-31%

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