Today the government has published new census data on initial teacher training (ITT) numbers in England up until 2018. While overall numbers have slightly risen, there appears to be a growing mismatch between supply and demand in secondary school subjects.
For both primary and secondary schools, the total number of postgraduate trainees is up in the latest data, with just over 16,000 secondary school trainees and just under 13,000 primary trainees in 2018-19.
These increases in secondary school trainees were mainly driven by rises in subjects such as Biology, English, PE and Geography. These are predominately subjects where current teacher shortages are less acute.
Trainee numbers remain broadly stable across a range of mostly smaller subjects, such as languages, Music, Computer, Art and Design, and RE.
However, we see continued falls in Physics, Maths and Technology – all of which are now equal to their lowest levels seen in the recent past. Trainees represented less than half (47%) of the target for physics in 2018 and about a quarter (25%) for D&T.
This represents a significant challenge for the government. With these subjects already facing teacher shortages, and an extra 400,000 pupils expected to enter into secondary school over the next 5 years, it is increasingly uncertain as to where all the required physics and maths teachers are going to come from.
Download: Initial teacher training trainee number census 2018 to 2019 (Department for Education).