Reconciling applicants numbers and trainees for ITT

Last September I reviewed the statistics available at that time from UCAS for post-graduate teacher preparation courses. UCAS has now published the end of cycle reports for the 2016-17 cycle. In September, I commented that ‘what is especially worrying is the level of reported ‘conditional placed’ applicants in the September figures; as high as 20% in some subjects.

With the new data now available, it is now possible to track what appears to have happened to these ‘conditional placed applicants’? The good news is that many seem to have migrated into the ‘placed’ column rather than disappeared into the ‘other’ group that includes those rejected. I assume that this means most were able to meet with the conditions placed on their offer, whether the skills test, degree class or some other requirement. Overall, the number of placed applicants increased between September 2017 statistics and the end of cycle report by 3,090. That is about 60% of the conditionally placed applicants in the September statistics.

There are significant differences between the types of providers in how important converting ‘conditional placed offers’ to ‘placed’ applicants is in the overall scheme of things.

Primary Placed Sept 2017 Placed End of Cycle Difference % Increase
HE 5740 6070 330 6%
SCITT 920 1180 260 28%
SCHOOL DIRECT FEE 2970 3350 380 13%
SCHOOL DIRECT SALARY 1330 1610 280 21%
Secondary Placed Sept 2017 Placed End of Cycle Difference % Increase
HE 6820 7400 580 9%
SCITT 1210 1750 540 45%
SCHOOL DIRECT FEE 3180 3760 580 18%
SCHOOL DIRECT SALARY 750 960 210 28%

Source: UCAS September 2017 and End of Cycle Report

What is also interesting is to compare the End of Cycle number with the DfE’s ITT census for 2017 published in November.

Primary Placed End of Cycle ITT Census 2017 Difference
HE 6070 5840 -230
SCITT 1180 1440 260
SCHOOL DIRECT FEE 3350 3410 60
Secondary Placed End of Cycle ITT Census 2017 Difference
HE 7400 7105 -295
SCITT 1750 1970 220
SCHOOL DIRECT FEE 3760 3870 110

Sources: UCAS End of Cycle Report and DfE ITT Census

By the time of the census, higher education appeared to have lost applicants, but all other routes reported more than through UCAS. This discrepancy merits further investigation to understand whether some routes are by-passing the UCAS system, perhaps for late applications?

What isn’t present in these figures is a breakdown by subject of acceptance rates. However we do know that of the 41,700 applicants with a domicile in England, 24,870 or 60% were accepted.

There were some interesting questions to be asked about regional acceptance rates

By UK domicile region PLACED ALL % PLACED
WALES 1300 2020 64%
SOUTH WEST 2380 3710 64%
EAST ENGLAND 2580 4140 62%
NORTH EAST 1270 2050 62%
EAST MIDLANDS 2080 3360 62%
SOUTH EAST 3650 5900 62%
NORTH WEST 3460 5630 61%
WEST MIDLANDS 2760 4520 61%
ALL UK 26800 44750 60%
YORKSHIRE & THE HUMBER 2490 4320 58%
LONDON 4200 8090 52%

Source: UCAS End of Cycle Report

Why was the percentage so high in the South West and so low in London, where teachers are really needed?

It would be really helpful if more of this data was made widely available, especially on a subject by subject basis for applicants and not just applications as the different number of applications that applicants may make can distort the data.

However, with the current cycle looking worse than the 2017 cycle, what happens over the next six months is going to be of great interest to everyone interested in teacher supply.



2 thoughts on “Reconciling applicants numbers and trainees for ITT

  1. Many thanks for raising the issues of UCAS vs Census particularly if ITT providers are going be held to account for their rejection rates in shortage subjects.

    I’d contacted DfE for a comment on differences in Census and EoC data in science subjects. School-led have 100 or do more on the census than EoC. The response is below. No Single subject does not account for the difference
    Date: 9 April 2018 12:02:29
    Subject: Fewer UCAS applicants than trainees in the ITT Census

    You are probably aware that UCAS and the ITT Census use different methodologies so this fact alone will produce slightly different results.

    A major difference relates to who completes the forms; on UCAS these are completed by applicants on an ongoing basis and the ITT Census is completed once by the provider of ITT, be it a school, SCITT or HEI; These two groups may have a different understanding of their course route or more likely, they may have switched courses and not informed UCAS.

    Other factors could be subject mappings – the subjects in Census and UCAS are different. We try to map both into the same subject groups, so the mappings may not be perfect. For example, there are courses in the UCAS data that are just advertised as ‘Science’ courses so we can’t assign a specific subject. These are reported in the UCAS data referenced as ‘No single subject assigned’. In the ITT Census, more detail has to be provided, so the providers will have to report these trainee under one of the Science subjects.

    UCAS could also be suppressing figures less than 3 in the table below – e.g. there could be a small number of applicants awaiting a decision.

    All in all, these two data sources are different and are not directly comparable.

    • Mark,

      Thanks for the response. I agree that they use different methodologies even though you might expect a degree of synergy would be helpful. I am not sure that they are totally correct in relation to who tells UCAS what as presumably offers are noted by the provider as well as the applicant.

      I tried to persuade UCAS to provide the level of detail that there was in the old GTTR days when the new system started, but failed. Not knowing applicant numbers for subjects is unhelpful. applicants ought also to know the potential number of places being offered by providers to help make choices about where to apply.


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