ASCL comment on fall in percentage of trainees awarded qualified teacher status

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the publication of Initial teacher training performance profiles, which shows the percentage of trainees awarded qualified teacher status fell to 93% in 2021/22 from 95% the previous year.
"Teacher shortages are already at crisis point and it is concerning that the percentage of trainees awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) has fallen. We know that the number of entrants for initial teacher training is consistently below the government’s target and any increase in the number of trainees leaving their course before the end, or failing to achieve QTS, will only add to the growing challenges schools are facing with filling vacancies. Particular attention needs to be given to subjects such as physics and computing, where teacher shortages are among the highest and the percentage of trainees being awarded QTS is among the lowest, but in truth schools are having difficulty with recruiting in most subjects.
“Work needs to be done to understand the reasons for this fall. It should hopefully serve as a reminder that there is a huge amount of work still to do to solve the recruitment and retention crisis. While the latest government pay offer is welcome, it does not reverse historic pay erosion, which alongside issues around workload, a punitive inspection system, and lack of sufficient funding for education have contributed to a situation where schools and colleges are struggling to put teachers in front of classes.”