Rising demand for UoM economics and business teachers

by | 6 Feb 2017 | Bus Ed | 0 comments

These are good times to be teaching economics and business studies. Numbers taking A level economics went above those for business studies for the first time in summer 2016 and entries in both subjects remain strong. University of Bristol research shows that economics and business degree courses remain popular choices for undergraduates. So, are there enough teachers training to meet this demand?

Every subject is set an annual recruitment target by the Department for Education according to the Teacher Supply Model [TSM], which bases its calculations on several variables, including changes in pupil numbers. Nationally, Business Studies recruited to 85% of this target in 2016/17, up from 64% in 2014/15. So there remains a shortfall. Employment rates for economics graduates continue to be high: in 2008, only 3 people trained as economics teachers across the whole of the UK, and only a total of 36 from 2008/09 to 2012/13… Although there is evidence that this has picked up in recent years, economics faces a greater shortfall in supply on current trends. Good news for those on economics and business PGCE teacher training routes.

We have, however, moved on since the Daily Mail reported that only 63% of teachers of business and economics have a degree in the subject. Three quarters of the teaching of economics and business is at KS4 [GCSE] and KS5 [A level and BTEC].  These teachers have the highest proportion of post-16 teaching of all subjects listed. We are much more likely to be teaching topical issues such as corporate strategy, managing a business and social media marketing; Brexit and economic growth; as well as globalisation and the UN development goals, including the universal right to primary education.

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Why train at the University of Manchester?

As I write, half of our trainees on our economics pathway already have jobs, helped in part by both the shortage and by rising demand. Employment rates across our Secondary PGCE programmes are above the national average.

We aim to train and support economics and business teachers with a critical pedagogy, that ensures they are well equipped with the skills required to teach in different contexts, whether state or private schools or Sixth Form Colleges. The University has been training teachers for over 150 years and is one of only a handful of Russell Group institutions that run PGCE courses in Economics and Business.

Manchester has also been at the heart of attempts to change the way economics is taught: subject knowledge updates form a key part of our PGCE programme, coupled with training to meet the more technical demands of the new linear A levels.

If you’d like to find out more, come along to our PGCE Welcome Evening on Tuesday 14th March from 5.30pm. Or contact me direct at robert.hindle@manchester.ac.uk

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