In October 2018, we wrote to Damien Hinds MP to challenge the DfE on issues within initial teacher education recruitment. We asked: 'Why is music treated more favourably than art and design?' Specifically: 'Why is an ITE bursary offered for music but not for art and design when music has recruited more successfully against the Teacher Supply Model (TSM) for the past three years?'
The DfE's letter of response said: ’The total number of art and design trainee teachers has remained stable in recent years and has been consistently higher than the number of music trainee teachers.’ We believe the DfE's own data makes this irrelevant given that the number of teachers required is encapsulated in the TSM. We have in turn replied to Nick Gibb MP, by explaining:
1. According to the DfE, the TSM is the preferred model used to statistically identify how many new teachers in each subject are actually required. By definition these allocations are based on current teacher supply and, between 2015-18, and also evidenced in our previous letter, music was more able to achieve their target than art and design.
2. TSM targets for 2019-2020 published by the DfE (25 October 2018) indicates the number of ITE places required for art and design has in fact grown: 668 ITE places will be needed in 2019-20, compared to 646 in 2018-19. This represents a supply shortfall between 2018-2020 – with an additional 22 art and design trainee teachers required.
Other 'non-ebacc' subjects: music, and religious studies for example, will require fewer trainee teachers in 2019-20 than in the previous year and consequently have decreasing ITE recruitment targets based on the TSM (-17 and -118 trainees respectively). These subjects have been allocated ITE bursaries. This does not mean that art and design is ‘more stable‘.
We believe this is not fair, and it must be challenged.
NSEAD's Special Interest Group for Initial Teacher Education has again asked Nick Gibb MP to explain this ongoing inequality against art and design trainee teachers. We will continue to seek a full explanation for what we consider to be an inequality in bursary provision.