There were 11% fewer students completing initial teacher training (ITE) courses in 2015/16 compared to the previous year, according to a Welsh Government report released today.

Welsh Conservatives said the report was the latest in “a series of ominous reports” on teaching, and called for a renewed focus on professional development and leadership in schools.

This downward trend was replicated in the number of trainee teachers for secondary schools enrolled in the same year, which amounted to just 600 students – a third (32%) short of the Welsh Government’s target.

The report states that the number of secondary school ITE students has been declining “steeply” for some years now.

This is compounded further by figures which show that the number of students able to teach through the medium of Welsh is at its lowest point since 2008/9, and that just two per cent of ITE students in Wales were non-white, despite accounting for four per cent of the Welsh population.

Commenting on the report, Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Secretary said:

“This is the latest in a series of ominous reports on the growing teacher recruitment crisis in Wales.

“It’s clearly evident that under Labour, teaching in Wales is a less sought after occupation than it once was. The reputation of our education system has been damaged by poor leadership and underinvestment which has left our schools languishing at the bottom of the UK league tables.  

“The Welsh Labour Government must deliver a greater focus on professional development and leadership, enhanced bursary schemes, and greater freedom for schools if we are going to turn this situation around and restore our reputation.” 

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