Teacher training applications at highest level in half a century
A major teacher training university has been inundated with applications, with numbers at their highest for more than 50 years.
The University of Sussex, based in Brighton, has reported a 25 per cent increase in teacher training applications and a 38 per cent increase in course place acceptances compared to the same time last year.
Recruitment numbers have been particularly strong for primary and the creative secondary subjects including music, drama and media in addition to English, modern foreign languages, the sciences and psychology.
However, following the removal of DfE bursary funding for a number of subjects, including design technology, business studies, geography and religious education, the number of applicants for these disciplines is lower than in previous years.
Jo Tregenza, Senior Lecturer in the university’s school of education, said: “I am slightly surprised by the size of the increase in our applicants this year when you consider the challenges that teachers have faced in the past year, balancing face-to-face and online teaching, the way they have been expected to put their lives at risk like few other occupations and considering the pressure and criticism they have been under from some sections of the media.
“Historically what we find is that when there is a crisis in the country, people turn to teaching.
“This pattern is largely due to applicants feeling that teaching is a safer option particularly when other businesses are failing.
“We do also get quite a few applicants seeking a career change after deciding that their current job is maybe too precarious in the current economic climate.
“Others are taking stock of their lives as a result of the pandemic and having always wanted to teach are taking the opportunity now to make that change.”
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