§ Mr. Franks
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students entered courses of initial teacher training in 1986; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
About 16,945 students entered courses of initial teacher training in 1986, an increase of some 220 over 1985. Recruitment to primary teacher training increased, while recruitment to secondary training remained stable. It is clear that many people, particularly graduates, perceive teaching to be an attractive career: entry to PGCE courses increased by 4 per cent. compared to 1985.
I particularly welcome the 24 per cent. increase in recruitment to one and two-year courses in mathematics, physics and craft, design and technology. The availability of the Government bursary for these students will have been an incentive. We will continue with our efforts to eliminate these long-standing shortages.