Just 94 per cent of the target figure was reached for trainee teacher recruitment this year. 28,148 graduates began initial teacher training courses, however the gap in numbers has prompted concerns of a recruitment crisis.
With a population bulge due to hit secondary schools from 2016, the government included an increase of trainee teachers into its estimate. However, the recruitment of trainee secondary school teachers has seen the biggest shortage, hitting just 82 per cent of the target. With an estimated 800,000 additional pupils in secondary schools by 2022, head teachers and academics are raising concerns of the growing recruitment crisis.
Government statistics estimated that 18,451 new secondary teachers would be needed for the next academic year. However, just 15,114 were recruited on to courses for secondary subjects.
Education recruitment expert and honorary research fellow at Oxford University John Howson said: "There is clearly going to be a crisis for the 2016-17 academic year in some parts of the country."
With the increasing need for teachers in England's schools, between 35,000 and 40,000 newly trained teachers are needed each year. Ministers said they had intensified efforts to attract top graduates this year. Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "Today's figures show that teaching is still a hugely popular profession, with over 1,000 more graduates training to teach secondary subjects - including record levels of trainees holding a first-class degree."
Core subjects such as maths, science, languages and geography are the subjects with the biggest shortfalls, which is especially pertinent as the government is aiming for 90 per cent of pupils to study these subjects at GCSE level.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "The figures highlight what most in education already know: that teacher recruitment levels are at a critically low point."
Posted by Alan Douglas