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Initial teacher education

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  • Release date: 15 June 2017
  • Period covered: 2015/16
  • Next update: 10 May 2018
This report provides information about students training to become teachers on courses of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) that lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
It covers students studying in Higher Education Institutions in Wales and also students from Wales studying across the UK.

Each year the Welsh Government sets intake targets for ITE courses in Wales. The targets are based on whether they are training to be primary or secondary school teachers and whether they are taking postgraduate or undergraduate courses.

A chart showing decreasing numbers of first year students on Initial Teacher Education courses in Wales. From 2009/10 numbers for primary and secondary teachers are close to their targets but in 2014/15 secondary school teachers drop steeply below the target and in 2015/16 primary school teachers begin to fall below their target.

Key points

  • Intake for secondary school trainee teachers missed the target by a third in 2015/16. Intake for primary school trainees was slightly below the target.
  • There were 1,310 first year students, 710 on primary courses and 600 on secondary.
  • The number of students completing ITE courses in Wales was 1,170, which is 11 per cent lower than in 2014/15.
  • The fall in students able to teach in Welsh has been less steep but is at its lowest point since 2008/09.
  • For every 10 new students training in Wales, around 9 of them were living in Wales beforehand.
  • 3 in 10 first year ITE students from Wales studied in England in 2015/16, up from 2 in 10 in 2011/12.
  • Science, Maths and English are the most popular subject specialities for secondary school ITE students.
  • There were more than double as many females as males starting to train as teachers in Wales in 2015/16.


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