Searches for teacher training courses have risen dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research.
For the first time in nearly a decade, overall recruitment of initial teacher trainees exceeded the national target in 2020-21, up 6% on the target for secondaries and 30% above for primaries.
To get a better understanding of specific trends around transitions to teaching over the course of the pandemic, Access Education analysed thousands of Google Searches to identify the subjects seeing the biggest rise in demand as well as the UK locations seeing the most change.
The findings have been published in a new report, Boardroom to classroom: How has the pandemic impacted career switches to teaching?, by Access Education, a software specialist for schools and academies.
The research found that between 2019-20, across all core subjects searches for teacher training courses were up. History saw the biggest growth in demand, closely followed by art and design as the most popular subjects, seeing the biggest spike in searches in 2020.
The subject areas that saw the biggest increase in searches between 2019 and 2020 were as follows:
- History teacher training – up 30.49%
- Art and design teacher training – up 29.86%
- Music teacher training – up 27.97%
- Science teacher training – up 25.72%
- Maths teacher training – up 20.07%
- Geography teacher training – up 16.84%
- PE teacher training – up 15.41%
Secondary education saw the biggest growth in terms of potential new recruits when compared to primary (a 21% increase in searches between 2019 and 2020).
When looking at regional trends, the research also revealed that interest in the profession and searches for ‘teacher training’ related terms spiked in locations across the country. This was particularly evident in the north where Glasgow (up 19.51%), Liverpool (up 17.63%) and Sheffield (up 16.15%) saw the biggest increases of the locations included in the research.
The five locations that saw the biggest increase in teacher training related searches between 2019 and 2020 were as follows:
- Glasgow – up 19.51%
- Liverpool – up 17.63%
- Sheffield – up 16.15%
- Edinburgh – up 15.11%
- Nottingham – up 13.52%
Adrian Brown, founder of My School Portal, an Access Education company, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably changed how some people think about life, work and whether or not they are happy within their existing role. Over the past two years we’ve seen thousands of people deciding to throw caution to the wind and not only consider a new role, but perhaps a different profession altogether.
“The remarkable work of teachers throughout the pandemic was recognised across the country, with many going above and beyond to ensure learning could continue. These heroic efforts clearly inspired others to consider a role in teaching – perhaps as they sought a more meaningful and fulfilling career.”
Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, Access Education looked at a range of seed keywords associated with teaching to gain an understanding of the search landscape for terms related to teacher training. Keywords included ‘primary school teacher training’, ‘maths teacher training’ and more.
For the regional data, it took a look at more generic teacher training related terms for each location such as ‘teacher training’ to establish a wider list of terms.