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Shortage Subjects

Volume 116: debated on Monday 11 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the progress of his measures to improve the supply of secondary teachers in the shortage subjects of mathematics, physics and technology.

There is compelling evidence that significant progress is being made. While there has been an estimated 5 per cent. increase in vacancies overall, early local authority unfilled vacancy returns for January 1987 show estimated falls of 16 per cent. for maths, 18 per cent. for physics and 10 per cent. for craft, design and technology. Meanwhile, applications in 1987 for initial teacher training this September are up 14 per cent. overall and in mathematics, physics and CDT they have increased even more—by 42 per cent., 80 per cent. and 99 per cent. respectively.