The Daily Telegraph reported last week that applications for teacher training courses have risen by more than a third, amid fears of job shortages because of the recession. And it seems record numbers are applying to teach maths and science.
The Telegraph reported that applications for teacher training courses are up by more than 10,000, after the new Lib-Con Government said that funding for front-line teachers would be protected.
“It is believed that the majority of the extra applicants are from ‘career changers’ attempting to break into the profession from other jobs”, said the paper.
The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) says that record numbers of candidates have been applying to teach maths and science; its figures show that applications are up by 40 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, although the Agency also stresses that there’s still an urgent need for high quality science and maths teachers, with around 6,000 required each year.
“Move into teaching was one of the best decisions of my life”
The TDA points out that the quality of the incoming maths and science teaching pool is also high, with 53 per cent of those enquiring about teaching since the start of the current recruitment cycle (September 2009) having a 2.1 or better. More encouraging, it says, is that these top quality graduates are moving on to application stage. The latest available figures from TDA for 2007/08 show that 91 per cent of postgraduates on a teacher training course have a 2.2 or better, and 59 per cent have a 2.1 or better.
“Making the move into teaching was one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve progressed to be Head of Physics in just a few years and hope to rise further as I become more experienced,” said Frances Wing, who is Head of Physics at Nonsuch Girls Grammar School in Sutton. “It’s great to see that there is a rise in people wanting to teach maths and science given how vital these subjects are in giving future generations the skills they need to succeed.”
Science and Maths “key to economic prosperity”
TDA Chief Executive Graham Holley said that the increasing appetite for teaching maths and science is really encouraging.
“However, there is still a huge job to do in getting high numbers of quality teachers into these priority subjects. I’d urge anyone thinking about becoming a teacher to begin the process today. Good quality science and maths teaching will be key to our future economic prosperity,” he said.
See also our earlier post: Teaching: “A first class career with second class perceptions”