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Training applicant numbers fall year-on-year

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The number of young people applying to get onto teacher training courses has fallen in the last year, according to the latest statistics released by the body that deals with college and university applications.

UCAS data shows that this year’s applicant numbers for teacher training courses were down, with as many as 6.5 per cent fewer people looking to get themselves onto such a course.

However, while this will be a huge concern for the industry that it appears teaching is becoming a far less popular profession, and that the government appears to be doing little to rectify this issue, there was good news as well. Despite a drop in applicants, the number of people accepted to teacher training courses actually climbed.

Some 42,400 people applied in 2015, which was a drop of 3,000 people when compared to 2014. However, of these applicants, as many as 25,300 gained places, which gave courses an acceptance rate of nearly 60 per cent.

This was compared to the year before, when the acceptance rate sat at around 52 per cent, and only 23,700 people were accepted onto courses.

Despite the fall in applicant numbers, the Department for Education said there are still plenty of people who want to teach in the UK. It said in a statement that “many people relish the chance to change lives on a daily basis”.

“There are over 1,000 more graduates training to teach secondary subjects in the 2015-2016 academic year compared to last, including record levels of trainees holding a first-class degree.”

Nansi Ellis, Association of Teachers and Lecturers assistant general secretary, was less optimistic, saying that even though there were a higher number of people accepted onto courses in 2015, there’s still an issue with targets for recruitment not being reached.

“While these figures highlight a small rise in the proportion of applicants accepted on teacher training courses, they don’t show the rise in numbers needed to combat previously unmet teacher training targets,” she said.

April 20, 2016