Press release

MillionPlus launches teacher education manifesto

17 Jun 2024

Part of its Building a Modern Britain series, MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (18 June) published its manifesto for teacher education, recruitment and retention. The document outlines recommendations in a number of areas that could help ease the crisis that afflicts schools all over England.

Modern universities have a long history of teacher education, and despite a diversification of routes into teaching in recent years, these institutions continue to be at the forefront of the field, both in terms of research into pedagogy and the practice of initial teacher training and education.

In 2021–22, modern universities accounted for 63% of all initial teacher training (ITT) students in the university sector, which is one vital aspect of initial teacher education. Seventy-five per cent of those were studying the undergraduate pathway, while 55% of all those studying education at university were at modern universities.

The same period also saw 87% of HEI-led trainee teachers awarded Qualified Teacher Status, with 73% of teacher training university students from the 2020–21 cycle teaching at a state school within 15 months of completing their course.

However, the significant, longstanding difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers are well documented. As part of its Building a Modern Britain series, the manifesto for teacher education, recruitment and retention makes recommendations in a number of areas that could help to ease the crisis in a crucial part of the public services.

Recommendations for the next Government include:

  • Implement a Fee Loan Forgiveness scheme for teaching;
  • Explore national priority grants to universities for delivering teacher education, equivalent to existing grants for STEM;
  • Mandate all schools to provide teacher training placements or provide evidence of their involvement in ITE;
  • Urgently review the workload and conditions of teachers;
  • Develop a long-term strategic framework for teacher recruitment and retention
  • Set up a taskforce to explore ways to improve the reputation of the teaching profession and encourage more young people to train.

Professor Graham Baldwin, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, said:

“Whatever the outcome, education is on the ballot at this election. A chronic failure to recruit teachers in the numbers England needs is becoming acute. The numbers are stark:

“The total new entrants to ITT courses in 2023–24 is 26,955, down 5% year on year. The DfE’s target for Education Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training recruitment fell short by almost 40%, an 8% decrease from the previous year.

“Shortage subjects such as mathematics and languages were significantly below target, with mathematics at 63% and languages at 33% of the required intake. Computing was at 36%, design and technology reached 27% and physics just 17% which emphasise the scale of the challenge faced.

“Through its dedicated Deans of Education Network, MillionPlus has been key voice in the initial teacher education space for many years and with this manifesto we outline steps that could help the next Government plot a way out of this crisis.”

The manifesto will be officially launched at a reception in Westminster this afternoon.


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. Building a Modern Britain and the manifesto for teacher education, retention and recruitment by MillionPlus are available online here
  3. If you would like to attend the Westminster reception, please email Nick Wright at            
  4. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  5. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  6. Modern university facts and stats