Only 3 out of 28,000 teachers awarded QTS in 2010 have computer-related degree? Er, no.

Posted on January 18, 2012


Just before Michael Gove delivered his speech at BETT 2012 on the forthcoming (and huge) changes to the way IT is treated as a subject in schools, there were many articles published about the dire situation of IT trained teachers. Most rested on a statistic that only 3 teachers out of 28 thousand had any IT background previous to training. For example, it was oft-repeated in newspapers:

Out of 28,000 teachers who qualified in 2010, just three individuals had a computer-related degree.” Janet Murray –, Monday 9 January 2012

And on blogs:

According to the general teaching council of the 28,000 who became teachers in 2010, only THREE had a computing related degree.

This statistic sounded awfully low. Really, really low. Too low, in fact.
@mberry asserted that in King’s College London (KCL) they had more than 18 CS graduates in their class:

From @mberry: @benosteen I know that in that year KCL had 18 computing graduates out of 28 ICT/Computing PGCE trainees. 18>3″ (11 Jan 12)

So what was going on here? I wrote to the GTC to find out, as a few quotes attributed this statistic to them. Helpfully, they got back to me to clarify this data point (emphasis my own):

“Dear Ben

The GTC generated the data you refer to, in response to a request from NESTA to assist in the compilation of their report (on pg 39 of that report).

This data showed the number of teachers who qualified in 2010 who listed computing or computing science as their initial teacher training (ITT) qualification subject – in other words, their main area / subject of specialism.

It is accurate to say that of the 28767 teachers who were awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) in 2010, and registered with the GTCE, three gained QTS with computing or computing science as their main teaching specialism.

This compares with 750 teachers, in that 28767, who qualified with a specialism in ICT and were registered with the GTCE. Please note that the GTC will be closing at the end of March 2012 and we now no longer have the resources to respond to totally new data requests that cannot be fulfilled from previous recent data analysis work.

Regards Roger [Roger Greenway, Systems Manager, GTC]

So, now you know. The statistic was about registered teachers who had computing or computing science as their main teaching specialism, not about CS grads entering teaching.

Posted in: opinion