Letter: Finding teachers

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While your editorial "We need better trained and better paid teachers" (Review, 9 September) recognised some of the changes we have introduced to improve teacher training, you ignored the fact that we seem finally to have turned the corner on teacher recruitment.

More graduates than ever before are going into teaching and the proportion of graduates has increased in relation to undergraduates. In the key subjects of maths and science, where there have been problems, there has been a huge increase in applications and acceptances. We have introduced golden hellos in these subjects to the value of pounds 5,000 and will be extending this to the area of modern languages this year.

I am also happy to report that primary education is recruiting well, with over five applicants for every undergraduate training place. More graduates are now applying to be primary teachers, improving the standard of teaching. With the reforms we are introducing to teachers' pay and opportunities, I am confident that this trend will continue in future years and that we will be able to overcome the perennial problem of trainee teachers not going into teaching (which is no different this year than in the past).

ESTELLE MORRIS

Minister for School Standards

Department for Education and Employment

London SW1

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