The crisis in teacher recruitment is growing as teacher training applications have dropped by a third, official figures reveal.
Now headteachers’ leaders are blaming the fall on growing concerns over accountability and classroom stress as well as confusion over how new teachers enter the profession.
The figures reveal that by the middle of December last year, 12,820 applicants had applied for postgraduate routes into teaching that will begin this autumn.
However, at the same stage in 2016, 19,330 people had applied for post graduate training and in 2015 the figure was 20,330.
Between 2016 and 2017, that is a fall of 6,510 people or 33%.
Government has missed its targets for teacher recruitment
The figures also highlight that the government has now missed its targets for teacher recruitment over the last five years despite spending millions of pounds on training and promotion.
The Association of School and College Leaders’ general secretary, Geoff Barton, said that the figures are a disaster.
He added that this is a particularly serious situation since there will be an extra 500,000 children entering the schools over the coming nine years.
Mr Barton said: “Teacher accountability and workload, I suspect, play into the issue that people, particularly young applicants who are deciding about whether to go into teaching, management consultancy or accountancy, are put off by something that does not have the work-life balance they can get with a another career.”
The fall in postgraduate applications covers all age-groups and also includes older applicants and those switching careers.
Decline in applications across many subjects
There’s also been a decline in applications across many subjects: those looking to teach history has fallen by 46%, maths has fallen by 28% and English by 25%. Those wanting to teach French has dropped by 29% while science applications have fallen by 23%.
However, the subject that has seen the biggest fall in applicants is design and technology which, year-on-year, has seen a staggering 67% drop in numbers.
Teacher recruitment for primary schools has also been hit with the number of applicants falling by 39% to 16,870.
When the figures are examined, the number of men applying has dropped by 37% to 3,580 and the number of female applicants has fallen to 9,240, a drop of 32%.
The Department for Education says that there may be an issue by drawing parallels from the application figures since applications opened a week later in 2017 for teacher training.
Newly qualified teachers entering the profession
For those newly qualified teachers entering the profession, their salaries will range from £22,917 to £33,824, and for those in inner-London the salary scale is £28,660 to £39,006.
For those teachers who are Leading Practitioners, the salary scale ranges from £39,374 to £59,857. In inner-London, the scale ranges from £46,814 to £67,305.
There are a range of schemes to attract people to switch careers and enter teaching and some offer bursaries and ‘golden hellos’ that can be worth up to £30,000 for maths graduates, for instance, while some jobs have packages that include private healthcare and gym memberships.