Graduates are continuing to go back to school, as teaching remains a popular career choice, according to figures from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). However, the latest figures reveal a decrease of less than 5 per cent in the number of applicants who have accepted places on training courses, compared with the same period in 2006.
Graham Holley, chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), is optimistic about the findings: "It is encouraging that interest in teaching remains strong in the current economy." He said that the TDA is confident that the final figures for 2007 will be higher than last year. Holley pointed to the fact that teaching vacancies are at their lowest level for eight years.
Art, social studies and geography show the greatest fall in applicants. Applications to teach mathematics have also fallen since 2006, and the recruitment of maths teachers remains a priority for the TDA.
The minimum starting salary for a new qualified teacher currently stands at £20,133, rising to £24,168 in London.