THE number of applications for places on secondary Post Graduate Certificate of Education courses has dropped for the fourth year running, figures out this week show.
By last Saturday, a total of 18,894 students had applied to join secondary PGCE programmes, compared with 19,615 at the same time last year - a 3.6 per cent fall.
Subject areas where there is already a shortage of secondary teachers have suffered the biggest decline in popularity. Nearly all science subjects have been hit, with chemistry seeing a fall of 24 per cent, applications for physics dropping by 20 per cent, and for combined and general science by nearly 10 per cent.
The number of students applying to specialise in economics fell from 316 to 170, making the biggest percentage drop of 46 per cent.
The Teacher Training Agency will be launching a new teacher training recruitment strategy in October, aimed at convincing more high-flyers to enter the teaching profession.