HC Deb 23 October 2000 vol 355 cc1-2W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many students have switched from BEd degree courses to PGCE training courses following the introduction of training salaries; and if he will make a statement. [134153]

Ms Estelle Morris

BEd degrees are undergraduate courses and PGCE training courses are postgraduate. It is therefore unlikely that students will be in a position to switch from one to the other. If students are encouraged to switch to a PGCE route into teaching, in general they would choose not to apply for a BEd course, but take a three-year BA or BSc instead, followed by a PGCE. There will not be evidence of this for another three years.

The number of acceptances for BEd courses at UK higher education institutions starting in September 2000, at 10,397 was virtually the same as in September 1999, at 10,433. The number of acceptances for PGCE courses in England and Wales in September 2000 was 20,993, an increase of around 6 per cent. over last year's figure (19,768).

The Government announced on 30 March that £6,000 training salaries would be introduced for graduate trainees starting postgraduate initial teacher training courses from September 2000. New style "golden hello" incentives of £4,000 were announced for postgraduate trainees in mathematics, science, modern foreign languages, information technology and design and technology, who successfully complete their induction and go on to take up a relevant teaching post.

At the start of April 2000, applications to postgraduate teacher training courses in England and Wales were down by around 11 per cent. compared to the previous year (24,187 compared to 21,537). As a result of the announcement, they are up by around 5 per cent. overall (34,860 compared to 33,056), with particular increases in modern foreign languages (up 20 per cent—2,307 to 2,763) and technology (up 23 per cent.—1,619 to 1,996). The latest acceptance figures show these increases translating into higher acceptances into these shortage subjects.

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