Applications to study teaching from students in London have decreased year on year by 10%, reaching a record low of just 1,500 applications in 2022.
The data, sourced from UCAS and collated by specialist teaching recruitment firm, Engage Education, details the number of applicants to study teaching courses at UK universities. The analysis also highlighted the increasing demographics applying for teaching in the UK.
According to the London government website, teachers in London leave the profession at a higher rate than the national average and this comes at a time when the number of qualified teachers cannot keep pace with increasing pupil numbers. The pupil to qualified teacher ratio has increased from 17.6 in November 2010 to 18.5 in 2021.
For new teachers, London traditionally was an attractive place after qualifying, but the cost of living crisis is prompting staff to move to more affordable parts of the UK. The recent teacher strikes have also made it one of the worst affected areas for teacher strikes, with three quarters of London schools estimated to be closed partially or entirely, further worsening the problem.
Where are our future teachers applying from across the UK?
It’s not just London hit by fewer students applying to teaching, across the UK the total number of teaching applications has also fallen by over 2000 applications since 2021.
Scotland has seen a 20% drop in teaching applications in the last year alone, reaching nearly half of those from England. Last year 45,000 teaching applications came from England and just over 20,000 from Scotland. Wales on the other hand has seen the highest increase in applications, increasing by nearly 70% in 2022.
When compared with overseas applications, there has been a 131% increase in students applying to study teaching in the UK in the last three years.
Joseph Raffell, Head of Education at Engage Education added, “It’s concerning to see fewer students applying for teaching courses at university, concerns amidst the cost of living crisis are deterring prospective students from going into the profession.
“This is at a time when the demand for teachers is at an all time high post brexit. It’s important our teachers are fully trained in their subject, as without this students can’t progress. As we see the number of pupils increasing support staff will be crucial to the running of any school to give more attention to the students across the learning spectrum”
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