6 Sep '13

News Numbers of new physics and maths teachers fail to meet official targets

Department for Education figures show 57% of 990 places in physics filled, while history proves most popular subject to teach

The number of new physics and maths teachers recruited this year has fallen below the government's targets, compared with a bumper crop of history, English and chemistry trainees signing up for classroom duty.

Department for Education figures show 560 people were accepted to train as physics teachers, filling 57% of the target of 990 places, while 1,910 applications to teach maths were accepted, compared with a target of 2,460.

The figures come a day after the education secretary, Michael Gove, said more needed to be done to attract qualified maths and physics graduates into teaching. "This is a problem that has been around for decades and we are focusing on it. We expect more schools to use their new powers over pay to attract physics and maths teachers," said a Whitehall source.

Overall, 90% of secondary and 98% of primary training places were filled. Some 6,360 of the nearly 26,000 places were accepted through the Schools Direct programme, which places trainees directly in selected schools.

History was the most popular subject to teach with 750 successful applications, well above the target of 540. English, chemistry and PE also proved more popular than the government's targets.

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