The number of people applying to start training as teachers next year has dropped by more than 40 per cent compared with last year.
Data from admissions body UCAS shows that 7,310 people had applied for teacher training by November 20, 2017 – compared with 12,840 at the same time last year.
The opening date for applications for teacher training courses in higher education, schools-based initial teacher training (Scitt) and school direct courses in 2016 started a week earlier than in 2017.
But John Howson, visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, said that the drop was worrying.
“The size of that fall – 43 per cent – is, in my view, significant,” Professor Howson said.
Last year, applications for universities held up better than those for school-based routes.
Professor Howson said: “The risk of this level of decline in November, is that some of the school-based training could be wiped out.