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Teachers: Design and Technology

Question for Department for Education

UIN 132208, tabled on 1 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) for Academic Year 2021/22, published in December 2021, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the low level of recruitment and high level of vacancies for design and technology teachers.

Answered on

8 March 2022

The number of teachers remains high, with more than 461,000 working in state-funded schools across the country, which is 20,000 more than in 2010. One of the department’s top priorities is to ensure that it continues to attract and retain high-quality teachers.

As detailed in the initial teacher training (ITT) census publication for the 2021/22 academic year, 23% of the postgraduate ITT target for design and technology was achieved (341 postgraduate trainees). This position was driven in part by a decrease in the number of trainees, but also an increase in target. Furthermore, the 2020/21 training year and recruitment cycle was atypical with the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak prompting an increase in the numbers of people going into teaching. This was expected to decline to normal levels this year as the labour market became and continues to become more competitive, as observed across the country.

To combat shortages of design and technology teachers, the department is offering a £15,000 tax-free bursary for design and technology trainee teachers in the 2022/23 academic year. All design and technology trainees on tuition fee-funded ITT routes are also able to apply for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to support their living costs. Additional student finance is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant.

Alongside its financial incentives package, the department is driving an ambitious transformation programme to overhaul the process of becoming a teacher, from stimulating initial interest through world-class marketing through to the start of training.

The teaching marketing campaign provides inspiration and support to explore a career in teaching and directs people to the ‘Get Into Teaching’ service. Through a new website, prospective candidates can access support and advice through expert one-to-one teacher training advisers, a contact centre and a national programme of events. The ‘get school experience’ digital service also arranges school experience placements between prospective candidates and schools. ‘Get Into Teaching’ is also developing innovative activities to build a pipeline of future interest in teaching, with a focus on shortage subjects.

In October 2021, the government’s new digital service, ‘apply for teacher training’, was rolled out. This is a key milestone in the delivery of a more streamlined, user-friendly application route for candidates across the country and the world. New data and insight from government services will also drive innovation with a view to boosting recruitment in priority subjects.

Since September 2020, all courses offered by ITT providers have been aligned to a mandatory core content framework (CCF), which was published in November 2019. The framework sets out a minimum entitlement for all trainee teachers.

In September 2021, the early career framework (ECF) was implemented, entitling early career teachers (ECTs) to a further 2 years of development support and training. The core content and early career frameworks contain the same key evidence statements of what makes great teaching. This deliberate alignment has established an entitlement to at least a 3-year structured package of support for all those entering teaching.