Schools are facing a shortage of teachers after figures showed not enough students are being trained in key academic subjects.
According to the Department for Education, more than 2,000 training places have effectively been left unfilled this year: 32,543 people started – or expect to start – teacher training courses this term, compared with a target of 34,890.
Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, told the Telegraph: "The feedback from heads around the country is that recruitment is a major issue, not just in English and maths but across most subjects.
"The obvious question is whether there are enough training places available. For instance training places in chemistry and English are oversubscribed yet we are getting reports of major shortages in those areas. We simply are not seeing enough good teachers applying for jobs."
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said: "These new figures are deeply concerning for schools and parents. We have seen another fall in the number of people training to be secondary school teachers and there are shortages in most subject areas."
"The Government needs to learn lessons from universities where recruitment figures are best."
A Department of Education spokesman insisted the Government always allocated 'more places than are needed to ensure a high quality supply of teachers across England's classrooms'.
He said: We never expect to fill to 100 per cent of allocated places and we are confident we will continue to meet future demand.
"Despite a tightening labour market, trainee teacher recruitment is holding steady – with low vacancy rates in priority subjects like maths and science.
"We want the best and brightest teachers in our schools. That's why we are offering increased bursaries worth £25,000 tax free to top graduates training in priority subjects, including physics, maths and languages and prestigious scholarships, to trainees in maths, physics, chemistry, and computing."
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