Provisional data in the Initial Teacher Training Census shows that 94% of targeted initial teacher training (ITT) places were filled in 2014/15. The shortfall will not result in a teacher shortage, since not all newly qualified teacher progress into teaching immediately after training, and schools can recruit teachers from other avenues. The quality of entrants to ITT remains high with 73% of all new postgraduate entrants in 2014/15 holding a 2:1 degree or higher and 17%, a new record, having a first. This confirms that teaching remains an attractive career choice for the best graduates and is recruiting well in a competitive graduate employment market.
The Government is already attracting high quality teachers through generous support for trainee teachers but we need more teachers with maths and physics related degrees. The Prime Minister announced on 8 December a range of measures to up-skill 15,000 existing teachers and to recruit up to 2,500 additional specialist maths and physics teachers over the next Parliament. As the Department for Education develops proposals within the STEM teacher supply package, we will consider how they might benefit schools in disadvantaged areas in terms of increasing access and opportunities to get more specialist maths and physics teachers into classrooms.