Art & design will not meet its ITT recruitment target in 2022

In March this year, the NFER and Nuffield Foundation published their annual initial teacher education report: 'Teacher Labour Market in England Annual Report 2022'. It predicts that there is a substantial risk that art and design, along with a large range of secondary subjects, will not meet recruitment targets for teacher supply in 2022.

The report indicates that shortage subjects such as physics, maths, chemistry, computing, design & technology and modern foreign languages, as well as other subjects that typically recruit well, including geography, biology and English, art and design, and religious education will not meet their recruitment targets. 

The research also finds that teacher retention rates, which had improved substantially in 2020 during the pandemic, due to economic uncertainty and lockdown, also appeared to be returning towards pre-pandemic levels in 2021, due to the returning wider labour market opportunities. If current trends continue Art and Design is only 86 per cent likely to meet its target. The worst effected is Physics at 17 per cent, followed by D&T at 25 per cent). In contrast, a number of subjects do seem, on the evidence so far, likely to exceed their targets, such as physical education, history and primary.

Other key findings include:

  • Teachers’ median real-terms pay is around 7 to 9 per cent lower in 2020/21 than in 2010/11 and has lost competitiveness relative to the wider economy over the last decade
  • Teachers continue to work longer hours than similar individuals in other professions during term time and are more likely to want to work fewer hours
  • Schools’ capacity to mentor trainees and new teachers is likely to remain under strain in 2022 due to a range of pressures

Given this predictive data and the downward trend for art and design recruitment, we call on the government to reintroduce bursaries for shortage subjects – this must include art, craft and design trainees. 

We urge the Government to also address representation and lack of diversity from teacher recruitment to leadership. The Runnymede Trust, has shared: 'In 2017, the DfE recorded that children in UK schools (of whom 31% were 'minority ethnic') were introduced to visual art by teachers who were 94% white.'  

We believe the lack of representation in the teaching workforce, in turn results in a lack of diversity and a loss of talent in the creative industries. Speaking at the Policy Connect Sills Commission Enquiry, 17 May 2022, and quoting from Creative majority (2021), published by the APPG for Creative Diversity, Michele Gregson general secretary said: 

The UK’s creative industries remain unrepresentative of the population as a whole. The report concluded that, a major barrier to sector growth and a limiter of excellence is the growing lack of diversity in the sector.

If we accept that excellence and innovation will not thrive if talent is drawn from a narrow pool, then we really must encourage the widest possible engagement with creative arts and design education.'

Diversity in the workforce is essential and we call on the government to rethink its removal of art and design bursaries and introduce bursaries for all subjects. In doing so, yes, we stand to meet our subject's supply needs, but more so we will bring expertise, voice and representation into art education, and in turn into creative industries. 

NSEAD will continue to campaign for the introduction of bursaries for all shortage subjects and will continue to lobby for its reinstatement.

Read the Teacher Labour Market in England Annual Report 2022 report here.