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Number of new Welsh-medium student teachers rises to 27% of total

Education and Welsh Language Minister, Jeremy Miles, visits Ysgol Santes Tudful, Merthyr Tydfil.

The Welsh Government has today published the latest data on student teachers in Wales.

The annual data is for entrants onto Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses that led to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the academic year 2020/21. ITE courses that lead to QTS are the main route to becoming a teacher in Wales.

The data covers student teachers at universities in Wales and also students from Wales studying across the UK.

The number of students training to teach in Welsh increased for the second year in a row, following a five-year decline between 2013/14 and 2018/19.

455 students were training to teach in Welsh in 2020/21, over two and a half times the number in 2018/19, at 175 entrants. 27% of new students entered courses enabling them to teach through the medium of Welsh in 2020/21, compared to 17% six years ago, in 2014/15.

On Tuesday, the Welsh Government published its 10-year plan to increase the number of Welsh-speaking teachers.

The number of new primary school trainees entering ITE courses in Wales was above the allocation for the first time in six years, though the total number of entrants for both primary and secondary schools was slightly below, at 1,680 entrants, against an allocation of 1,727. The allocations are the number of new entrants needed to meet future demand for teachers.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:

“I welcome the increase in recruitment into Initial Teacher Education. The sector has much to be proud of, not least delivering high quality ITE programmes during the midst of a global pandemic.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see the percentage of students training to teach in Welsh increase, to 27% of the overall total. Our 10-year Welsh-medium workforce plan will build on this, doing even more to attract ambitious Welsh speakers into our teaching workforce.

“The total 2020/21 figures must be treated with caution, while we wait to see the long-term impact of Covid-19 on teacher recruitment figures. However, we will continue to work with our ITE partners to attract even more brilliant teachers to the profession.”

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