The number of people who have decided to use their heads and take up teacher training at Edge Hill College of Higher Education has increased by 7.1% from last year.

According to the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) the number of people preparing to become teachers has hit a new peak. National figures, based on the TTA?s annual census of universities, colleges and schools offering initial teacher training, reveal the highest number of trainees since 1975. And Edge Hill?s figures support this trend with 1,843 people taking up training opportunities this year, compared with 1,721 in 2003.

John Cater, Edge Hill?s Chief Executive said: “As one of the largest providers of initial teacher training in the country we are continuing to attract a high calibre of future primary and secondary teachers, as well as those already qualified and continuing their professional development. This year we look forward to training more secondary school teachers than any other institution in the UK.”

The number of people taking up primary teaching at Edge Hill is up 12% with 859 trainees this year, compared with 763 in 2003, with the number of secondary trainees also on the up. Likewise, more people are taking up training to become maths teachers, even though maths has historically been classed as a shortage subject.

The national campaign to recruit minority groups into teacher training is also paying off, with an increase in numbers of people from minority ethnic backgrounds, men in primary teaching and trainees who declare a disability. Edge Hill has seen an 18% rise in men training to become primary teachers compared with last year?s figures, with increases in minority ethnic recruitment and those declaring a disability.

John Cater: “It?s encouraging to find that Edge Hill is exceeding national trends in teacher training delivery. We will continue to provide quality teacher training as well as training for the newly emerging school workforce, as part of the Government?s programme for school reform.”

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