Highest ever quality of graduates going into teacher training

More than seven out of 10 new trainee teachers now have a high-quality degree, according to the latest figures published from the Teaching Agency – the highest proportion ever recorded. The is from the DfE…

The data from the Teaching Agency reveals that 71 per cent of graduates choosing to train for a career in the classroom now have a 2:1 or higher. This is a record rise of six percentage points compared to last year.

The quality of trainee teachers has improved in all the key English Baccalaureate subjects – including maths, physics, chemistry and modern foreign languages, which have been traditionally hard to recruit to.

Overall 66 per cent of those entering teacher training in these shortage subjects now have a 2:1 or higher degree classification – up from 55 per cent last year.

The data also shows that 900 graduates are expected to start training this academic year as physics teachers – the highest total since records were first kept by the Institute of Physics in 1979.

This demonstrates that the Government’s strategy to attract and train the best graduates as teachers is working.

Under the Coalition Government, many of the brightest and best graduates now receive a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000. The Government has also launched prestigious training scholarships with highly-regarded bodies such as the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

Raising standards in our schools is at the heart of the Coalition Government’s education reforms.

Having a high-quality teacher in each and every classroom is key to achieving this. Nothing matters more if we are to equip our young people to succeed in today’s competitive world.

These figures show we are on the right track to achieving this, especially in those key EBacc subjects. These subjects give young people the knowledge and skills they need to progress to further study or to rewarding employment.

The quality of trainee teachers – those with a 2:1 or higher degree class – has improved in nearly all the English Baccalaureate subjects since 2010:

Subject 2010/11 2012/13 Increase
English 75% 84% 9pp
Mathematics 51% 62% 11pp
Biology 62% 73% 11pp
Chemistry 51% 64% 13pp
Physics 50% 62% 12pp
Modern foreign languages 65% 74% 9pp
Geography 69% 75% 6pp
History 82% 87% 5pp

Within the overall increase in quality, the percentage of trainees with a first class degree has also increased from 10 per cent to 14 per cent over the last three years.

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