Primary schools face staff shortages as government orders School Direct recruitment shut-down

The TES is reporting growing concerns that primary schools will be left short-staffed as all major training routes for primary teachers have now been closed for this year.

Schools have been told to stop taking on trainees under the salaried School Direct scheme – which was the last remaining training route open. Only those schools and universities that have not yet reached their minimum allocation are still allowed to accept applicants.

Universities were told in January that they could no longer take on primary trainees for September 2016 and the student-funded routes for School Direct and school-centered initial teacher training (Scitt) places were closed in February. Only those in London were allowed to carry on recruiting.

Now, the salaried School Direct route has also been closed, with providers told on Thursday to stop recruiting, unless they had fewer than 75 per cent of the trainees they had in 2015. All providers may continue recruiting until this number is reached.

But closing school-led places because a national limit has been reached has left some schools and Scitts unable to supply the number of trainee teachers that their schools expect.

Martin Thompson, executive director of the National Association of School Based Teacher Trainers said: “In broad terms, it means that providers are now left with what they’ve got. I personally think the Teacher Supply Model for primary is wrong, it has been set too low and the need for primary teachers, according to what we’re hearing from schools, is greater than the Teacher Supply Model is allowing…”

More at: Primary schools face staff shortages as government orders School Direct recruitment shut-down


Can anyone explain in simple terms exactly what is going on here and why?

To a lay-person like me it sounds odd that recruitment to teacher training is being closed when everywhere else we are hearing of teacher shortages?

What am I missing?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Policy, Primary and Teaching.


  1. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove My agency glad that my prep school experience covered Y5/6. Shortages even in leafy Herefordshire. I have to mark, though

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Could it be people applying now for teaching courses in Sept are only choosing teaching as they’ve found nothing better?

  3. So the Government follows a damning National Audit Office report re teacher recruitment by making the situation worse!   ‘Acting first; thinking later’, the Education Select Committee chair said about the DfE’s approach to education reform.  I’d go further, ‘Acting first; thinking never’.

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