Commenting on Department for Education statistics on the initial teacher training census
for the academic year 2021/22, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“It is unfortunately no surprise that the government has missed its own targets for recruiting secondary school teachers.
“The improvement in recruitment last year was obviously due to the effect of the pandemic and the fact that graduates were seeking secure careers in a turbulent period.
“Unfortunately, the government then imposed a pay freeze on teachers, further exacerbating the erosion of salaries over the past decade, and making the profession less competitive in the jobs market.
“Combined with this is a decade of government underfunding of schools which has left teachers effectively doing more work for less pay in real terms.
“The impact is clear with very severe under-recruitment of trainee teachers in key subjects such as physics, computing, and modern foreign languages.
“We welcome the government’s commitment to raise starting salaries to £30,000 – though the pay freeze has delayed its implementation.
“But there needs to be an improvement in pay across the board to retain teachers, and pay awards must be fully funded by the government rather than falling on school budgets which cannot take any more pressure