Teacher numbers still low

July 13, 2001

The government is celebrating growing numbers of trainee teachers - but the statistics mask the fact that numbers training in some shortage subjects are still pitifully low.

Applications for the Graduate Teacher Programme, which runs in-service training, have doubled this year, with the biggest growth in shortage subjects. PGCE applications have also grown consistently in key subject areas.

But the latest statistics show that although PGCE applicants to train in teaching physics are up by 23.4 per cent, this represents only 55 extra people across England, Scotland and Wales.

In the Graduate Teacher Programme, this year will see only 510 places for all shortage subjects, including maths, English and modern languages.

Michael Reiss, head of science and technology at the Institute of Education, said: "The situation (in physics and chemistry) will soon become dire."

He said that despite government initiatives "there continues to be a net loss of science teachers from the profession".

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