Cuts Watch #364: Cuts in Teacher Training
The Guardian reports that funding for trainee teachers has been cut by 14% for secondary schools, which will result in the number of students funded being cut by 2,200, from 16,845 to 14,555. The number of English, art and music trainee teachers will drop substantially.
The government will fund 2,100 trainees to teach English in secondary schools which is 315 fewer than last year. There will be 220 less trainee art and design teachers, and 180 fewer trainee music teachers. The number of trainee business studies teachers has almost halved, from 428 to 235, while the number of physical education trainee teachers has fallen from 1,180 last year to 890.
The Education Secretary also abolished “golden hellos” in some subjects by ending bursaries worth £6,000 a year for students training to teach subjects including English, history, geography and art. Under the plans those who want to train as physics, chemistry, engineering and maths teachers will receive bursaries of £9,000 a year. Trainees who want to be biology, general science or foreign language teachers will receive £6,000 a year.
The cuts have caused anger among some teaching unions and Opposition MPs who have claimed that the cuts risk creating teaching shortages.
Mary Bousted, the General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, warned that cuts this year would create staff shortages in two or three years’ time:
You can very quickly come to the position where, rather than having too many trainees you have got too few, which is a situation we were in during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s….……… We already have a large number of teachers aged over 55 who are going to retire in the next few years, just as we cut trainees and bursaries. This Government is setting itself up for some serious problems two or three years down the line
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
While none of this is unexpected it still remains a recipe for disaster. It is nothing short of baffling for the Education Secretary to talk of the importance of teaching while putting in place measures to cut short teacher training programmes.