The number of people signing up for full-time primary school teacher training college has gone up 11% this year to over 7,000 students.
In addition, a further 2,200 people plan to start a part-time course, a rise of 15% on the last academic year intake, according to new figures from national teacher training association Lobo,
Officials say the coronavirus crisis may have made the job of primary school teacher more visible, leading more people to consider teaching as a career.
‘People have discovered how valuable and rewarding teaching is, and I think this has led to the increase,’ Barbara de Kort, head of the national teacher training association Lobo, told Radio 1 news.
A further 600 people are planning to move into teaching from another profession, she said.
The rise in students will not solve the shortage of teachers. ‘We really need to long long and hard to find out the cause,’ De Kort said.
Primary schools association PO-Raad has also called on the government to close the pay gap between primary and secondary school teachers and do more to recruit and retain staff, saying the profession needs to become more attractive.
Last year, school inspectors said that inequality in education was being exacerbated by the lack of qualified teachers in disadvantaged areas.
Schools where more than 75% of pupils have a non-western migrant background have around four times as many vacancies as those where the proportion is 25% or less.
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