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NEU comment on latest DfE figures for trainee teachers

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union

Commenting on the latest figures from the DfE on new entrants to Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training, Kevin Courtney (@cyclingkev), Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (@NEUnion), said;

“The significant rise in trainee teachers is welcome and necessary as Government had failed to reach its own recruitment targets in each of the previous seven years. However, it is important to understand that this increase is a response to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic and welcome though this increase is, there are still significant shortages of applicants in Physics, Modern Foreign Languages, Design & Technology, Chemistry and Maths.

“Recruitment is nothing without retention. Government needs to have a long-term plan for retaining teachers, so that they will still be working in schools in five years’ time. This has been a failure of Conservative governments over the past decade. 

“Desperately high workload, excessive accountability, the pernicious impact of Ofsted, pay freezes and underfunding of schools all need to be addressed to ensure we keep the teachers we need, and children get the education they deserve. 

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