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TRAINEE TEACHER NUMBERS ARE HIGHEST FOR SEVEN YEARS - 'SEVEN PER CENT RISE IS A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT'

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Almost 29,000 people are expected to start initial teacher training ...
Almost 29,000 people are expected to start initial teacher training

courses in England this year - a rise for the second year in

succession and the highest number since 1994-5 - according to figures

published by the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) today.

Another 1,290 people started training in schools this autumn through

the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). Together, the figures amount to

a seven per cent increase over the comparable figure for last autumn.

With over 1,000 more GTP places due to be filled next Spring and

Summer, the total number of people beginning teacher training during

this academic year will be more than 31,000.

Chief executive Ralph Tabberer said:

'At a time when competition for good graduates has been tougher than

ever, these new figures represent a remarkable achievement. They

result from our successful marketing campaign 'Those who can, teach,'

the government's new financial incentives, and greater efforts by

training providers - the universities, colleges and schools - who

have worked so hard to make a difference.

'After several years of falling recruitment figures, I am delighted

more people are recognising the rewards and career opportunities that

teaching offers. That must be to the benefit of pupils everywhere.'

The figures, collected from providers of initial teacher training,

show the number of trainees who have registered and expect to take up

places on Government-funded postgraduate and undergraduate courses in

the academic year 2001-2.

They are:

- 15,912 in secondary training, an increase of nine per cent, with

rises in the number of trainees in priority subjects including

mathematics (20 per cent), science (seven per cent), modern foreign

languages (four per cent), and design and technology (12 per cent);

and

- 13,054 in primary training, which meets the intake target.

They represent an increase of five per cent over last year overall.

Ralph Tabberer said:

'Teaching is in fierce competition with the country's hungriest

recruiters for good graduates in key areas such as mathematics,

science and foreign languages and I am pleased that we have

significantly more trainees in those subjects this year.

'However, we want every place filled and we acknowledge there is more

to do. We are working closely with training providers and developing

initiatives, such as offering subject enhancement courses for people

with some vocational experience, in those key subjects.

'Crucially, we are meeting the demands of people interested in

joining the teaching profession from other careers - by providing

more places for training in the classroom, more distance learning,

and more flexible part-time courses, where people can divide their

time between training and continuing their present employment.

'We are also improving our support and help for potential trainees by

arranging more opportunities for them to talk to teachers, visit

schools and go on taster courses, so that they can be better informed

and confident about their choice before they begin teacher training.

'The year ahead will be more competitive and harder still. But the

growing interest in teaching and its attraction as a rewarding,

modern and secure profession stand us in good stead to take up the

challenge.'

Notes

2. The TTA's campaign 'Those who can, teach' attracted 308,512

enquiries over the 12 months ending 31 August 2001 - 49per cent

more than last year - to the Teaching Information Line (tel: 0845

6000 991). It led to more than 20, 000 applications for

postgraduate courses, an increase of 17 per cent over the previous

year.

3. The Teacher Training Agency was established under the Education

Act 1994. Its purpose is to raise standards in schools by

attracting able and committed people into teaching and by improving

the quality of teacher training. The agency is responsible for a

wide range of initiatives to promote recruitment to the teaching

profession; for funding initial teacher training; for further

development of the standards for award of qualified teacher status;

and working with the New Opportunities Fund for the provision of

training in the use of ICT in subject teaching.

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