Schools could be faced with massive shortage of teachers

Schools will be faced with a massive shortage of teachers if the Government goes ahead with plans to make it harder to enter the profession, says a report out today.

Shortage subjects like maths, science and modern foreign languages will be the worst hit, it reveals.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said funding for graduates with less than a 2:2 pass will cease under his government. Details of his plan on teacher training are likely to be included in a White Paper later this autumn.

However, an analysis of teacher training recruits by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson, from Buckingham University’s Centre for Education and Employment, says latest figures show this would mean 430 fewer science trainees (as many as 26 per cent of the entire physics intake), 410 maths trainees and 131 modern foreign languages trainees.

All three subjects already find it difficult to recruit to their target levels.

The findings emerge in the annual Good Teacher Training Guide, which measures the performance of teacher training course in England.

“The Coalition Government’s teacher training policies do not add up,” say the authors.

“The latest figures indicate that the proposal would be impractical for a number of subjects,” their report adds.

“Poor teachers are bad news for pupils but is it better for physics pupils to be taught by a well-qualified biologist than someone who has studied the subject at university even without success.

“Michael Gove is putting the cart before the horse. Improving quality depends on attracting sufficient applicants to be able to choose those who can make subjects come alive for children..”

The study, which highlighting the dilemma in these subject areas, reveals that history (78 per cent), drama/dance (76 per cent) and English (73 per cent) have the highest percentage of teacher trainees with a top-level degree pass.

“It does mean that children are more likely to find themselves with knowledgeable teachers in subjects like history and English than in maths, the physical sciences and ICT,” it says.

“Given the importance of high quality teachers this is likely to have bearing on the subject choices of the pupils and how well they do.”

The report is also critical of drop-out rates from teacher training courses, revealing that less than three-quarters of trainees (72.1 per cent) actually make it into the classroom. The biggest drop-out rate is among language teachers where only 61.5 per cent actually finish up teaching..

Mr Gove’s proposal was criticised by teachers’ leaders when it was first announced. They claimed the brightest graduates did not necessarily make the best classroom communicators. It was also revealed that – under the Conservatives’ proposals – their own maths tsar Carol Vorderman would not have been able to teach as she only had a third degree.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “The Coalition Government’s top priority for the schools workforce is to improve the quality of teachers.

“The countries which give their children the best education are those which value their teachers most highly and where the profession attracts the brightest graduates.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...

Guru Careers: Product Training Specialist / Software Trainer

£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...

Recruitment Genius: Unqualified NVQ Assessors - Health, Social Care & Management

£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions