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Reality Check: Is the government missing teacher targets?

By Reality Check team
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The claim: The government is missing its teacher recruitment targets.

Reality Check verdict: That's right. Government figures show that's been the case for the past 5 years.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government was missing its targets on teacher recruitment.

Her comments came as the regulator, Ofsted, warned of a hardcore of underachieving schools that were struggling to recruit teachers.

Looking at the figures from the Department for Education's trainee number census, that has certainly been the case for the past five years, although the 2017-18 figures are partly based on forecasts.

The House of Commons Library says that by this measure overall teacher recruitment was above target in each year from 2006-07 to 2011-12 and has been below target in each year since.

The new trainees figure is for the number of initial teacher training (ITT) places.

The target is based on the government's Teacher Supply Model, which estimates how many teachers need to enter training to meet the needs of state schools, bearing in mind assumptions about what proportion will complete the training and join the state sector.

When you break that down into primary and secondary school teachers, the government has met or very nearly met its primary school target in four of the past five years, with almost all of the shortfall coming from secondary school teacher trainees.

The only subjects in which targets are being met this year are history and physical education, with the biggest shortfall coming in recruiting design and technology teachers.

Responding to the government's failure to meet its targets, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: "The fact that more than 32,000 new trainee teachers have been recruited in a competitive labour market... shows that the profession continues to be an attractive career."

"Of course, we want these figures to continue to increase, which is why we recently announced generous bursaries and other financial incentives to encourage even more talented trainees to key subjects, such as maths and physics."

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