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Increased teacher training applications this year are a ‘false dawn’, says NAHT

Today, (Mon 21 Sept) NFER publishes new research which shows that the overall number of teacher training applications is 16 per cent higher than the same time in 2019, but that there are challenges within the teacher labour market that still need to be addressed.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “Covid-19 has restricted employment opportunities for graduates, leading to a rise in applications for initial teacher training (ITT) this year. Whilst this is good news on one level, ministers and policy makers should be wary that this could be a false dawn.

“We should remember that the new entrants who joined the profession as a result of the 2008 financial crisis melted away as economic conditions improved, while attrition and wastage rates grew over the following decade.

“Additionally, this year’s improved figures will not make up the shortfall resulting from eight consecutive years of missed recruitment targets.

“A sustained increase in both the quality and numbers of those entering and then staying within the profession to build a career over decades must be the clear policy goal.  Only this will end the leadership drought in our schools.

“Above all, teaching must be as attractive as other comparable professional careers such as law, medicine and accountancy.  The ongoing pandemic has thrown into sharp focus the true value of public service. This year’s new entrants must be encouraged to stay.

“NAHT is clear that the Government must create an attractive and compelling proposition for a decades-long career in teaching. This means pay reform to encourage teachers to continue into leadership roles as their careers progress, and plenty of support and flexibility for teachers to allow them to develop at all stages of their career.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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