Free for all in ITT

Yesterday the DfE released the results of the operation of the Teacher Supply Model for 2018/19. These results will underpin the number of new entrants into the teacher labour market in September 2019 and January 2020. The suite of documents about the TSM can be found at: where there is also information about the allocations of the ITT places.

This year, yet another methodology is being tried to fill as many of the 19,674 secondary and 12,552 primary postgraduate places the TSM has identified as being required to maintain the overall stock of teachers in the 2019/20 labour market. Firstly, subjects have been protected in the TSM at no less than the number in the previous TSM. This affects biology, chemistry, classics, computing, geography and religious education. In all other subjects there has been an increase in numbers, albeit in the case of history, just an additional 20 places.

The second change has the potential to be more daring and far reaching. Overall the government received 73,100 bids for allocations, including from Teach First, for the 32,226 places identified as needed in the postgraduate sector by the TSM. The government has allowed providers not only to recruit to these places but, as mentioned in an earlier post about the allocations methodology published in September, to recruit beyond the number of places they have been allocated in all except primary and physical education. Even in physical education, where the TSM had an indicative number of 1,078, an increase of 79 places, the cap has been set at 1,300 places. I was provided with a rationale for this state of affairs, but as it was an off the record meeting, I cannot provide that explanation here. Suffice it to say, schools should still be able to use surplus PE teachers to fill vacancies in other subjects for September 2019.

This open enrolment policy is radically different from the rigid recruitment controls policy of a couple of years ago, and marks yet another attempt to fill as many ITT places in as many subjects as possible by trying a new approach. Should either Brexit suddenly cause a hiccup in the economy or a recession appear for any other reason, the government does retain reserve powers to intervene. While I would like the need for intervention to be required, as it would mean sufficient teachers were being for the needs of schools, intervening in the middle of a cycle might have other unintended consequences.

Interestingly, although Teach First can presumably recruit as many entrants as it wants and is able to, its allocations are only for 1,750 places, including 354 primary and 90 early years.

The 4,554 secondary School Direct Salaried places allocated looks an especially ambitious number if the number recruited this year turns out to be little more than 1,000. Generally, higher education and SCITT providers seem to have been more realistic in their application for places, with schools again being enthusiastic about how many places they can fill. Whether applicants will share the same enthusiasm for schools we will start to know from now onward, as applications through UCAS open. This should be another interesting recruitment round.


3 thoughts on “Free for all in ITT

  1. As with previous versions of the TSM, there has been a simple breakdown of the numbers of teachers adding to the teaching stock i.e. Entrants. For almost all secondary subjects the TSM has assumed 2018-19 entrants will comprise of 51% NQTs + 36% Returners + 13% New to the State Sector. However there is an interesting new tab included “Entrants from other Initiatives” which I take to be linked to projects such as the £10M being spent on recruiting overseas teachers. See

    The TSM has suggested 410 MFL entrants (17% of all MFL entrants) and zero entrants for all other secondary subjects; what of the Maths and Physics teachers mentioned by the NCTL in their pool of overseas teachers?

    • Mark,

      Thanks for picking up on this interesting nuance. I suspect it is to do with the size of the programme. The initiative with Spain has been intended to be much larger. Whether it will be in the present climate must be open to question if not doubt. I guess without the initiative the MFL number would have been added to the TSM output nmuber to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the margin for empty places build into the initiative

      We use 50% in the TeachVac estimate of the rundown of the ITT pool against vacancies but as we also include vacancies filled by the ‘churn’ that don’t feature in the TSM there is more work still to be done in this area. The government’s national Vacancy Service will contribute if it sees the light of day.


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