Teacher training targets set by the government have been missed in most EBacc subjects in 2018, data reveals.

In data from the initial teacher training census, the government has only met its postgraduate trainee recruitment targets in three subjects.

They were in English, biology and history while the teacher training target for primary school teachers was only just reached.

The figures highlight that the government has missed its training targets in classics, chemistry, maths and computing.

They’ve also missed the target for modern foreign languages, geography and physics – where the government only recruited 47% of the trainees targeted. In maths, only 65% of the target has been met.

However, the Department for Education has recruited 153% of the required number of biology teachers and 110% of the required English teachers.

This is a small improvement on 2017’s figures when the government missed its targets for all EBacc subjects except history.

Trainees starting this academic year was up 8%

The number of postgraduate trainees starting this academic year was up 8% from last year’s figure of 27,145 to 29,255. The government-set target was 32,226.

In addition, there was an increase in the number of entrants to undergraduate initial teacher training, which rose to 5,335, from 4,765 in 2017.

The schools’ minister, Nick Gibb, said: More than 34,500 new trainee teachers started their teacher training course in 2018 – that’s over 2,600 more than last year – and despite a competitive labour market shows that teaching is an attractive career for graduates.

“This includes the largest number of postgraduates since 2012 with the quality of entrants remaining high and 19% of them holding a first-class degree.”

However, the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers says the numbers are a ’cause for concern’.

‘Government has missed its teacher training targets’

The organisation’s James Noble-Rogers said: “The results are cause for concern and the government has missed its teacher training targets yet again which means that schools will struggle to recruit teachers.”

He added, “The DFE must develop a retention and recruitment strategy as a matter of urgency, rather than continuing the series of ad hoc and piecemeal initiatives.”

Mr Noble-Rogers says that the DfE needs to replace the pre-entry skills test which is ‘badly administered’ and, he says, that tuition fees should also be removed for postgraduate initial teacher education students.

In addition, he says there’s also a need to rationalise the way the routes into teaching are marketed to a potential teacher.

The government should also spend more on teacher retention and provide new teachers with access to a fully-funded and structured plan for professional development that will build on their initial training.

Labour’s shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, criticised the government for missing teacher training targets for ‘six years in a row’.

She added: “Real terms pay cuts have made it impossible for a school to recruit staff they need and there will be a generation of children paying the price.”