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Initial teacher education

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  • Release date: 10 May 2018
  • Period covered: 2016/17
  • Next update: May 2019
This report provides information about students training to become teachers on courses of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) that lead to Qualified Teacher Status.
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

  • The number of new secondary school trainee teachers missed the target by over a third in 2016/17. The number of new primary school trainees stayed slightly below the target for a second year.
  • The target for primary courses was 750, but only 700 students enrolled. The target for secondary courses was 871, but only 545 students enrolled.
  • There has been a small fall in students able to teach in Welsh, which is at its lowest point since 2008/09.
  • Science, Maths and English are the most common subjects for entrants to secondary school ITE courses.
  • 9 out of every 10 new ITE students training in Wales were living in Wales before they started their degree.
  • There were more than double as many females as males starting to train as teachers in Wales in 2016/17.


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