The number of first year enrolments for Initial Teacher Training courses in Wales 2010/11 was down by eight per cent on 2009/10 and 23 per cent lower than in 2004/05 latest figures reveal. In total there were 1,780 first year enrolments in Wales.
Commenting on the latest figures, NUT Wales Executive Member, Neil Foden said:
“There is a variety of factors which has contributed to this reduced figure. It is fair to note that the Welsh Government has been undertaking a policy to reduce the number of entrants. However, there is also a sense that teaching has become less attractive as a profession. People see the pressure that teachers are under and question if it is something worth pursuing.
“With continued attacks from the Westminster Government on teachers’ pay and conditions, specifically plans to force teachers to work longer, pay more and receive less, it is going to be increasingly difficult to entice people into the profession.
“Teaching is an extremely demanding job, both physically and mentally. Teachers recognise that their careers will take a toll on them, but do the job because of the profession’s power to improve the lives of children. Unfortunately, the attack on teachers’ pensions, coupled with a sense that the status of the profession in Wales has been undermined in recent years, will make people think twice before enrolling on teacher training courses.
“It is important that anyone thinking about becoming a teacher is aware of the immense role they can play in their communities. There is nothing better than being able to shape a student’s future for the better. Raising the prestige of teaching is something that should be at the forefront of the political agenda, not just to attract more applicants, but to attract the best applicants.”