What is the Teacher Workforce Model?
From 2021/22 onward, the department’s annual postgraduate initial teacher training (PGITT) targets have been set using analysis from the Teacher Workforce Model (TWM).
The Teacher Workforce Model is a national, stocks & flows model covering all state-funded primary (including maintained nurseries attached to schools) and secondary schools (including post-16 provision within such schools), academies, and free schools in England.
The model estimates the number of qualified teachers required by such schools in future (beyond 2020/21) for both primary and each secondary subject; and by considering the number of teachers that will leave or enter service in future, estimates the 2022/23 PGITT targets needed to supply sufficient numbers of teachers in 2023/24.
The TWM is updated annually to use the latest available data. The School Workforce Census (SWC) is the key data source for the model, providing information on the composition of the current (2020/21) teacher workforce, teacher inflows/outflows, and the curriculum taught in secondary schools.
How did the Teacher Workforce Model estimate PGITT targets for 2022/23?
Firstly, the TWM estimated future teacher demand from a starting 2020/21 teacher stock (as measured by the SWC in November 2020) by considering projections of pupil numbers and by estimating what national pupil:teacher ratios could be as pupil numbers change.
The TWM then estimated the total number of teachers (in FTE, full time equivalent) needed to enter into the workforce in 2023/24 to fully meet this demand. The model focusses on entrants needed in 2023/24 as these would include the newly qualified teachers trained via PGITT in 2022/23.
This 2023/24 ‘entrant need’ is made up of three parts:
- The number of leavers expected in 2023/24; which the model assumes must be replaced by other teachers entering the workforce in 2023/24.
- The extra number of teachers needed in 2023/24 because of increases in teacher demand compared to 2022/23 because of pupil number growth. Note, if pupil numbers are forecast to fall between 2022/23 and 2023/24, the model assumes that some teachers could leave without being replaced, as teacher demand would fall in line with pupil numbers.
- The model assesses whether we have under recruited in the two ITT cycles prior to 2022/23. If this is the case, the model corrects for this by assuming we need to recruit additional teachers.
The model takes this ‘entrant need’ and subtracts the number of entrants expected into the workforce in 2023/24 that do not fall into the category of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) that have just completed PGITT. These would include entrants that are returners, those teachers that are new to the state-funded schools sector, and those NQTs that gained qualified teacher status via an assessment only route or via undergraduate ITT. The residual figure is the number of NQTs needed (in FTE form) in 2023/24 having been trained via PGITT in 2022/23.
Finally, the model upscales this number of 2023/24 NQTs into a 2022/23 PGITT target (in the form of trainee headcount) by:
- Applying an FTE to headcount conversion rate that is specific to NQTs, and
- Applying ITT completion and post-ITT employment rates to reflect that not all individuals that commence ITT both complete it and gain employment as an NQT in the English state-funded schools sector within six months of completing training.
Further information on the specific steps of this process may be found in the next section.
 Prior to 2021/22, the Department used the Teacher Supply Model (TSM) to estimate the number of trainees needed to start PGITT each year: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training#teacher-supply-model-and-itt-allocations
Whilst special schools, pupil referral units, early years, independent schools, and further education/sixth-form colleges are considered as being out of scope of the TWM, the PGITT targets set using the model do make an indirect provision for teachers required in those sectors.