ITT Application Shortages Due to Sociopolitical Climate
The total number of applications for initial teacher training (ITT) in England has dropped by 24% compared to the same period last year, prompting concerns that the sector is facing a significant decline in recruitment.
According to new data from the Department for Education, the total number of applications received by 17 January 2022 was 38,968 – a significant decrease from the 51,510 recorded at the same time last year. This means that ITT applications are now lower than they were pre-pandemic.
Experts have warned that the government needs to take action to prevent teacher shortages from becoming a problem. One analyst told Tes that “the government needs to act now to stop teacher shortages becoming a problem”.
With ITT applications falling significantly, the government needs to take action to ensure that teacher shortages do not become a problem. This could include providing financial incentives for people to train as teachers or increasing marketing and publicity around ITT programmes.
According to UCAS data, the overall number of applications for undergraduate courses has also decreased by 3.4% this year. This suggests that the decline in ITT applications is part of a wider trend of fewer people applying to university.
The government needs to ensure that teacher shortages do not become a problem. This could include providing financial incentives for people to train as teachers or increasing marketing and publicity around ITT programmes.
Jack Worth, policy and public affairs manager at the National Education Union, said: “This is a shot across the bows for a government that has failed to invest in teacher recruitment and retention.
“The education system must have enough teachers to provide high-quality education for all children and young people. The Government cannot afford to ignore these figures.”
Mr Worth added that this “shot in the arm” should include a competitive set of teacher pay proposals to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) “that support more teachers to join and stay in teaching”.
Teacher training applications had previously “surged” in 2020 during the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic, reaching an average of 566 applications a day in January 2021. However, the latest figures suggest that this increase was not sustainable and that the number of people applying to train as teachers has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.
What do you think the government should do to prevent teacher shortages from becoming a problem? Let us know in the comments below.
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