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How we ensure that we recruit the right number of students to our teacher training programmes for each academic year.

First published:
8 April 2024
Last updated:


The Welsh Government has an important role in managing school teacher supply. We do this through initial teacher education (ITE) courses which award qualified teacher status (QTS). Welsh Government sets the national number of teachers required yearly. We aim to: 

  • meet demand for teachers from schools 
  • ensure an efficient use of public funds 
  • minimise the potential for school teachers unable to find a teaching role

Teacher Planning Supply Model

The Teacher Planning Supply Model (TPSM) estimates the number of student teachers needed every year. You can find further information in the Teacher Planning and Supply Model methodology section.

The TPSM uses current learner projections and school teacher workforce data. It generates one figure for the primary sector and one for the secondary sector. We notify the Education Workforce Council (EWC) of the national figures. The EWC then:

  • allocates these figures to individual ITE programmes
  • informs ITE Partnerships of their annual allocation

You can find further information on EWC’s allocation process at Initial teacher education intake allocations (

Notification to the Education Workforce Council of the number of student teachers required for 2024 to 2025

View the Welsh Government’s letter to the Education Workforce Council regarding the national figures of student teachers required for academic year 2024 to 2025.

Permission to recruit to ITE programmes with QTS in Wales

In order to recruit students to programmes of ITE that award QTS the programme must be accredited. Only accredited ITE programmes receive an allocation of students from the EWC. In Wales ITE programmes are accredited by the EWC’s ITE Accreditation Board. This is part of EWC’s statutory responsibilities.

ITE Partnerships request an intake allocation when they submit their accreditation request. The ITE Accreditation Board then looks at: 

  • whether they provide a high-quality student teacher experience 
  • whether they have financial sustainability
  • the historic recruitment rates for programme phase and type
  • national levels of maintained school demand and existing supply of teachers

The Open University is the designated ITE Partnership delivering ‘alternative’ ITE qualifications. This includes the part-time PGCE and Salaried PGCE. The Salaried PGCE is Welsh Government’s employment-based teacher education qualification with QTS. We determine the recruitment allocations to these programmes on a separate basis annually.

Supporting recruitment into teaching

Welsh Government supports recruitment into ITE and the school teaching workforce. 

We have the following plans:

We run the ‘Teaching Wales’ recruitment campaign ‘Teaching Wales.’ We support this through our Educators Wales website. We work with the EWC who promote the teaching profession in schools, sixth forms, colleges and universities.

Teacher Planning and Supply Model methodology

The TPSM is a statistical model. It calculates the number of ITE course places we need for: 

  • primary undergraduate 
  • primary postgraduate 
  • secondary postgraduate

We use these numbers to identify the necessary number of new teachers needed in Wales for: 

  • local authority maintained primary schools 
  • local authority maintained secondary schools in Wales (including through-age schools)

We include the number for special schools in the model. We split this proportionally between the primary and secondary phase calculations. 

The TPSM does not cover: 

  • unqualified teachers 
  • teachers in pupil referral units (PRUs) 
  • teachers in independent schools
  • teaching assistants or learning support assistants

Estimating the number of teachers needed

The model calculates the teachers needed ('desired stock') by phase. The model then estimates how the Pupil to teacher Ratio (PTR) will change as learner numbers change. The model does this using: 

  • school pupil counts from the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) 
  • pupil projections figures

The model then calculates the number of teachers required to maintain or change the PTR. Local authorities and maintained schools make decisions that determine actual PTRs.

We get the number of teachers 'in-service' from the EWC’s Register of Practitioners. We separate this by school phase, gender and age. This allows us to analyse and make projections of: 

  • the demographics of the teacher population 
  • movements of teachers between, and out of, school phases

'Out-of-service' teachers are registered with the EWC but not in a permanent teaching post within a maintained school in Wales. 

'Wastage rate' is the number of teachers leaving the profession. The model calculates this as the proportion of teachers 'in-service' that are 'out-of-service' in the following year. We use a 3 year average for the 'wastage rate'. This minimises the impact of any volatility in the data due to annual fluctuations.

The model deducts the wastage and retirement rates from the 'desired stock'. This is the shortfall of teachers in Wales and the number needed to enter the profession.

Entrants to teaching

This is the number needed to enter the profession. The model splits the number of new teachers needed into 2:

  • re-entry of qualified teachers 
  • students completing ITE qualifications

'Re-entry rates' are calculated from the EWC’s Register of Practitioners. This is the proportion of qualified teachers 'out-of-service' in the previous year that are now 'in-service'. A 3 year average of the percentage of entrants that are filled by re-entrants is applied to forecast the number of re-entrants in future years.

The model calculates the number of new entrants required from ITE. This is the difference between the expected shortfall of teachers and the number of re-entrants.

Calculating the number of ITE course places needed

We use historic data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to calculate the number of ITE course places needed. This includes the actual:

  • student intake into ITE qualifications
  • number of students achieving their ITE qualification

Using the data, the model calculates for each type of ITE course:

  • completion rates
  • intake rates

We use data from HESA's the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. This provides the percentage of ITE course completers that are seeking employment in Wales. We split this by school phase and course type (graduate and postgraduate). This gives an indication of how many students may qualify and look for work in Wales.

We use this information to scale up the ITE entrant figures. This accounts for the loss of students during their ITE course and those not seeking employment. 

The model adjusts the numbers to account for the average actual intake into ITE courses. The model does this for the number of places allocated by school phase and course type. This provides the ITE allocations at a pan-Wales level for primary and secondary phases.

Statistics and data

You can find further information on statistics relating to teacher recruitment and the school workforce on: