A brief pandemic “push” of educational applications has already almost evaporated, warned a headteacher today.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the NAHT school leaders union, will speak later today at the Schools and Academies Show as part of a discussion on securing the “post-pandemic” teacher supply.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Whiteman said that the lessons learned from the 2008 economic recession “suggest that as the pandemic abates and economic conditions improve, increasing demands are made. ‘would fade “.


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He added that these predictions based on previous years have “been shown to be broadly correct”.

In June 2020, Nick Gibb, then Minister of Schools, revealed that requests for teacher training had increased by 12%.

However, UCAS data published in September 2021 seems to mark an end to this increase, with applications for initial teacher education (ITT) dropping by almost 8% (from 52,490 to 48,300) unlike September 2020.

In June, Jack Worth, economist the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), also warned that the increase in ITT requests “may be over.”

Mr Whiteman also pointed out that there is “significant regional variation” in the data and the differences between subjects.

He added: “Of course, the supply of new teachers is only part of the picture here and we should also be deeply concerned about the number of people who are considering leaving the profession.

“There is clear evidence that more teachers are now actively considering leaving the profession than before the pandemic.”

Mr Whiteman cited the government’s handling of the pandemic and feelings of unfair treatment of staff as a “major factor”.

The retention of school principals in danger

He also warned that these factors also affected school leaders, and said that “[School Teachers’ Review Body] made repeated warnings about the leadership offer.

He continued, “NAHT research consistently shows that too few middle leaders want to become senior leaders, and too few assistants and deputies want to become leaders.

“Almost half of principals surveyed by the NAHT at the end of last year said that due to the pandemic, they were less likely to stay as school principals for as long as initially planned .

“There is a real risk that we will see an exodus of leaders from the profession once the Covid crisis is over.

“Despite the increased pressure on them, school leaders have remained true to their task. But unless the government acts urgently to make principals an attractive proposition for educators, the principal supply pipeline will run out. “