Statistics produced by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service showed 10,668 people started bachelor of education courses this autumn, down from 11,414 last year. The figures confirm the decline in popularity of teacher training.
Research showing the effectiveness of the Government's "Nobody forgets a good teacher" campaign is due later this autumn, as is a Green Paper on teachers' pay.
Overall, the number of students finding places at university and college was down by only 1.7 per cent on last year, despite the introduction of university tuition fees. Tony Higgins, UCAS chief executive, said: "Fears that the 1997 rush would be followed by a slump in 1998 have not been realised."
An analysis of applicants' social backgrounds showed no evidence that working class students were being put off higher education because of fees, he said. Students from low income backgrounds do not have to pay the pounds 1,000 charge.Reuse content