The initial teacher training (ITT) census is collected annually and counts trainees registered on a course on the second Wednesday in October. The collection generally remains open until the first week of November to allow providers time to input and check their records.
Data has been collected from Register Trainee Teachers since ITT Census 2022/23, following a move from the Database of Trainee Teachers and Providers (DTTP). Register is a live system on which providers can change their entries throughout the year, using the HESA, portal or register interface. This statistical release includes both the revised data for the previous training year, for which provisional data were published last year, and provisional data for the latest training year. The revisions reflect any changes made by providers between the initial publication and the end of the training year. Figures for historical years in the time series have not been revised.
The initial teacher training census covers first year initial teacher trainees in England. The statistical release includes provisional figures for the training year of the statistical release, and revises figures for the previous training year.
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that all published or disseminated statistics produced by the Department for Education protects confidentiality.
To do this small numbers are suppressed for sensitive characteristics and for very small providers.
This suppression approach is consistent with the Department’s statistical policy. Symbols used to identify this approach in published tables are as follows:
|Small number suppressed to preserve confidentiality
Data for the ITT census were completed, reviewed and signed-off by providers. The data collection and publication team within DfE carried out additional quality checks and data validations throughout the data entry process. After the data was extracted, the production team undertook a further quality assurance process to recode and correct some of the data.
Please see the year specific methodology section of the statistical release, for more details.
Trainees included in this release
We apply filters to ensure we capture only valid trainees:
- Trainees were in their first year
- Trainee records were signed off and not marked as draft
- Trainees were on a course on or before second Wednesday of October
- Trainees were on a course that started after 1 August of the published training year
- Trainees were on a course that leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
- Trainees were not excluded (see below)
Trainees on the Future Teaching Scholars programme in this dataset are included with trainees on a School Direct route.
Trainees excluded from this release
There are a number of trainees excluded from this analysis who may be working towards QTS, or another teaching qualification. This release does not include:
- Self-funded trainees – We exclude trainees that the provider has indicated are not eligible for UK financial support. This includes overseas trainees not entitled to UK financial support, and trainees on the School Direct salaried route undertaking a non-DfE funded subject. This does not apply to high potential ITT trainees or Future Teaching Scholars Programme trainees. Trainees who do not have a DfE allocated place were also excluded in data until 2021/22. Some subjects have allocations to prevent over recruitment - providers who recruit beyond their allocation are expected to fund the costs of additional trainees. Since 2022/23, only Physical Education and Early Years Teaching are subject to allocations.
Some trainees are excluded from mainstream ITT statistics, but are included in a separate section of this publication or an annex of the ITT performance profiles statistical release:
- Early years ITT – The main tables in this publication focus on trainees working towards QTS, and so trainees working towards early years teacher status (EYTS) are not included because they are not eligible for QTS. Figures on early years ITT are reported in a separate section of the release.
- Assessment Only candidates – Assessment Only is for experienced teachers with a degree and those with a teaching qualification from different countries, who have not been awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) in England. It allows teachers to do the necessary assessment and skills tests to qualify for QTS. These individuals are deemed to be already in the workforce and therefore do not count towards from the 2022/23 postgraduate ITT targets. Figures for AO trainees have been published as an annex to the initial teacher training (ITT) performance profiles since its 2016/17 publication.
Teacher Supply Model & Teacher Workforce Model
Teacher Supply Model
The Teacher Supply Model (TSM) was used by DfE to estimate the number of postgraduate trainee teachers needed to provide sufficient numbers of qualified teachers for state-funded schools in England, up to and including the 2020/21 training year (ITT2020). The last annual iteration of the TSM estimated the number of postgraduate ITT entrants needed for ITT courses starting in England in the autumn of 2020.
More information can be found within the 2020/21 Teacher Supply Model and accompanying user guide, both of which are available here.
Teacher Workforce Model
In 2020, the TSM was replaced by the Teacher Workforce Model (TWM). The TWM considers both recruitment and retention alongside estimates of teacher demand, and, since the 2021/22 training year (ITT2021), analysis from the model is used by DfE to set postgraduate ITT targets.
ITT end of application cycle methodology (official statistics in development)
This year the publication includes end of application cycle data on the number of candidates making applications to ITT courses, and the number of acceptances to ITT courses, for courses that start in 2022/23 and 2023/24. This data will be published annually and is compiled from the data recorded from users in the DfE Apply service, which applicants use to apply to postgraduate ITT courses. This covers applications to courses to providers in England only but candidates may be from any country inside or outside the UK. Candidates applying for the High Potential ITT route are excluded as they do not use the Apply service. The Apply service is used for courses leading to Qualified Teaching Status (QTS), which is a legal requirement to teach in maintained schools in England. Some ITT providers offer courses that do not lead to QTS and these are excluded from the Apply service.
The statistics are classified as official statistics in development, which is a temporary label for new statistics that are undergoing development and testing. The goal of official statistics in development is to develop statistics that can, in due course, be produced to the standards of the Code of Practice for Statistics. However, even though this data-series is still in development, we consider the statistics to be a reliable indicator of candidates and acceptances.
Methods and definitions
Postgraduate teacher training follows an annual recruitment cycle starting in early October each year. Applications made during the recruitment cycle will be for courses that start in the following year. For example, applications made in 2021/22 will be for courses starting in 2022/23. The time-period shown in the data is for the year courses start.
The end of application cycle statistics are calculated from application data from the DfE Apply service. We calculate aggregate totals from application- and candidate-level data, applying filters according to our definitions of candidates and accepted candidates.
A candidate is someone who has made an application to a postgraduate ITT course using the DfE Apply service for a course that starts in the given time period. An accepted candidate is a candidate that had an offer by an ITT provider and the candidate has accepted that offer.
Some candidates withdraw their application after they have accepted and do not go on to start an ITT course. Other accepted candidates defer their course start date by one or more years. The preferred acceptances measure used in this publication for courses that start in the given time period excludes candidates who withdraw or who are deferring to a future year; it includes deferred candidates from a previous year. This provides the best predictor of the number of trainees starting ITT courses in any given year.
A separate measure of in-cycle acceptances is provided in the data. This includes accepted candidates regardless of whether they later choose to withdraw or defer their accepted application. Candidates who defer from the previous year are not included. This in-cycle acceptance measure is used as the numerator for calculating the acceptance rate, where the denominator is the number of candidates who applied for courses that start in the given time period. The acceptance rate is designed to be a simple measure of the likelihood of being made an offer and accepting it based on all candidates that applied during the year.
Some candidates have multiple applications and a small minority provide different demographic data when applying again. In these cases we use the demographics provided in the latest application. Candidates are only included once in demographic breakdowns.
Some candidates apply to courses for different subjects and these are included in each relevant subject total, therefore the sum of candidates in each subject does not equal the total number of candidates. The sum of accepted candidates for each subject does match total accepted candidates however, as a candidate can only have one accepted offer. If a candidate accepts an offer and later wants to accept another offer instead, then the application for the course for which they had their first offer is withdrawn, so candidates are only included against their final accepted offer.
Courses for multiple subjects are counted only once in the first subject listed (e.g. PE with maths is counted as PE); this is consistent with the subject groups for ITT census statistics. The sum of categories for a demographic characteristic may also not match the total as some candidates do not provide demographic information.
These statistics exclude applications to any provider that automatically rejects applications using the DfE Apply service and instead signposts candidates to apply directly to them, as the overall number of candidates and accepted candidates are unknown.
The acceptance rate for total candidates is higher than all ITT routes and most subjects. This is because candidates can apply for more than one course and so are included in the acceptance rate denominator for each subject/ITT route they applied for. A candidate can only be counted as accepted and be included in the acceptance rate numerator against one subject/ITT route. In the acceptance rate denominator for total candidates, they are only included once. The in-cycle acceptance total and the acceptance rate are not shown in cases where candidate numbers are fewer than 30. Where small numbers are present, the acceptance rate can be volatile and potentially misleading.
Comparability with other sources
The end of application cycle statistics do not exactly match the management information Monthly statistics on initial teacher training (ITT) recruitment that is published as transparency data on gov.uk due to methodological differences. The main difference is the end of application cycle statistics account for accepted applications that are withdrawn or deferred after the application year has finished, which the monthly management information does not. In addition, the statistics in this publication are based on data extracted on 17 November 2023, capturing data on acceptances that occurred up to the end of the recruitment cycle (2 October 2023). The extraction dates for the monthly transparency data may not align with this.
Prior to 2022/23, recruitment to postgraduate ITT courses was undertaken by UCAS and they published end of application cycle data up to courses starting in 2021/22. Historical data published by UCAS is not directly comparable with data in this publication. This publication covers data for England only whereas UCAS data covered England & Wales. In addition, there have been changes to the application process in DfE Apply which allow candidates to submit more applications at a time, which makes historic comparisons difficult.
We consider the end of application cycle statistics to be an accurate measure of candidates and accepted candidates to postgraduate ITT courses in England according to our definitions. The main exclusions from the data are candidates on the High Potential ITT route and courses that do not lead to QTS, as these do not use the Apply service. Candidates applying to undergraduate, early years and further education ITT courses are also excluded.
Data for 2023/24 will be revised next year when more information is available on withdrawn applications and deferred acceptances that occurred after the application year ended. Demographic information is collected during the application process and is provided directly from candidates. We have not published a breakdown by disability status as we are still assessing the quality of the data. We aim to publish a breakdown by disability status in future.
We quality assure the data by comparing against internal application reporting data and ITT Census data. We undertake checks at provider level. This quality assurance process identified two issues. A small amount of missing data for candidate characteristics (sex, age and ethnic group) has been identified and included in the data. In 53 cases, where a candidate had two accepted applications, we counted only the latest acceptance in the data summaries.
We have not published data on the number of applications due to changes in the application process over time which has increased the number of applications candidates are allowed to make, making comparisons over time not legitimate.
In a minority of categories, the number of accepted candidates is lower than the number of new entrants recorded in the ITT Census. This may be due to a number of reasons. Some providers may recruit additional trainees outside of the DfE Apply system. Some candidates may switch subject or route after accepting an offer. Some withdrawal or deferral information may not be accurate or up to date.