Major challenges facing education today

With schools and schooling constantly in the spotlight, Minister for Education, Nicky Morgan, has a tough job on her hands if she is to continue safe guarding our education system in testing times.

This all important sector faces a growing list of tough challenges. Over the next week we will be highlighting those at the top of the list.

Teacher shortage crisis

Covered here only a few weeks ago, this issue is still at the forefront of concerns over future education needs.

Official figures on the number of trainees recruited this year show a dramatic shortage in key subjects.

Figures published by university admissions body UCAS do not paint a pretty picture across a range of core subjects.

As of 21st September 2015:

  • Modern foreign languages recruited just 54% of the 1,514 trainees needed as per to the government teacher supply model.
  • Design and Technology recruited 43% of the 1,279 needed.
  • RE, business studies, art, classics and physics took less than 75% of the trainees needed.
  • Physics only saw 770 trainees recruited out of the 1,055 needed.
  • Maths has managed to reach 95% of the required number of trainees.
  • BUT on a positive note, PE, history and primary have seen an over-recruitment in numbers.

President of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Allan Foulds has said of the situation, “There is a real danger that a system which is already under severe strain will reach breaking point, and that schools will be forced to drop more courses and increase class sizes further. This situation puts in jeopardy the huge progress that has been made by schools and undermines the drive to further raise standards.”

This is the third year running that target numbers have not been reached which means future generations may be taught by less qualified teachers.

Emma Williams