Official figures have revealed that the government has missed its recruitment targets for trainee teachers for a third year, resulting in a potential teacher shortage crisis.
Schools have been told to prepare for a teacher recruitment shortfall, after DfE figures showed that more than 2,000 training places had been left unfilled, and there may even be a shortage of student teachers being trained in key academic subjects, the Independent reports.
With the number of trainee teachers at their lowest since 2007, there are serious fears that schools will be unable to recruit enough staff for next year, with a 7% shortfall predicted.
This year, 93% of vacancies for trainees were filled, compared with 95% last year, according to official statistics. Art, history, physical education and chemistry were the only subjects that recruited enough new teachers, with other subjects significantly under-recruiting:
- 67% of physics places were filled
- 85% of biology places were filled
- 88% of maths places were filled
- 44% of design and technology places were filled
ASCL’s Malcolm Trobe said headteachers had been describing the recruitment situation as “ghastly” and “a disaster area”. Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said: “A shortage in qualified teachers and soaring class sizes is damaging standards in our schools.”
The DfE played down the warnings. “We always allocate more places than are needed to ensure a high-quality supply of teachers across England’s classrooms, we never expect to fill 100% of allocated places and we are confident we will continue to meet future demand.”
What should the government do to encourage more people to train as teachers? Is your school already feeling the effects of the teacher shortage?