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University Intake Targets for Initial Teacher Education 2024-25



  1. I am writing to announce the university intake targets to the controlled subject of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) for Academic Year (AY) 2024-25.

Summary of intake targets for AY 2024-25

  1. The table below summarises the sector level intake targets for AY 2024-25, which are unchanged from AY 2023-24. The details of the intakes, including individual university targets, are set out in Annex B.
Summary of intake targets for AY 2024-25
Academic Year Primary Undergraduate & Combined Primary PGDE Secondary Undergraduate & Combined Secondary PGDE Total
2023-24 779 955 336 2,000 4,070
2024-25 779 955 336 2,000 4,070


  1. In setting the intake targets for AY 2024-25, we have taken account of guidance from the Scottish Government, received by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) on 16 February 2024. A copy of this letter is attached as Annex A. In accordance with this guidance, the overall number of student teacher intake places is being maintained.

Priority Secondary subjects and consolidation policy

  1. Universities have historically found it challenging to achieve target intakes in some subjects. The Scottish Government and SFC remain open to continued work with universities to develop alternative routes into subjects which have traditionally been difficult to recruit to, in response to the changing patterns of student demand for flexible learning routes.
  2. However, we recognise that challenges are likely to remain with recruitment to some subjects. It is therefore vital that universities continue to be proactive in the promotion of teaching as a career choice for undergraduate students, both in their own institutions and in other universities that do not offer teaching provision.
  3. Table 2 in Annex B sets a subject specific intake target for each individual university. Working with the Scottish Government and the Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group, SFC will continue to monitor recruitment to these subjects to assess if the sector is achieving the subject targets. We will also continue discussion with the Scottish Government and universities on the approach to recovery of funds for over and under-enrolment in individual subjects.

Gaelic education

  1. The supply of teachers able to teach in the Gaelic medium continues to be a priority for Scottish Ministers. The university targets set out in Table 1 in Annex B include intakes specifically for Gaelic provision (summarised at Annex C and denoted with a G).
  2. In addition to the above, universities are free to recruit as many student teachers of Gaelic as possible without being penalised. However, SFC is aware of the difficulties universities face in meeting intake targets specifically for Gaelic medium provision through the PGDE routes.
  3. To tackle this, we expect universities to promote this provision on a part-time basis, as well as a full-time basis, and consider the introduction of further avenues to increase the numbers of Gaelic medium teachers in both the Primary and Secondary sectors where possible.
  4. Universities are asked to note the priorities relating to teacher education contained within the National Gaelic Language Plan and the Gaelic Education Guidance, as referenced in the Scottish Government’s guidance to SFC. In addition, universities are asked to contribute to the teacher education work stream of Faster Rate of Progress initiative for Gaelic.

Teachers in Catholic schools

  1. Universities are asked to note the Scottish Government’s advice on training teachers for Catholic schools, as set out in their guidance in Annex A. In particular, Catholic PGDE students at the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Strathclyde, West of Scotland, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, should be made aware of the Catholic Teachers Certificate that is available to them – delivered by the University of Glasgow – to enable them to teach Religious Education in Catholic schools, subject to Church approval.

Diversity in the teaching profession

  1. To support the Scottish Government in developing an education workforce that is representative of Scotland’s increasingly diverse population, universities are asked to embed a proactive approach in terms of race equality.

Funding and funded places

  1. SFC will provide further information with regards to teaching funding and funded student places for the controlled subject of ITE in our final university funding announcement for AY 2024-25 in May 2024.

Further information

  1. Please contact Scarlett Campbell, Senior Policy/Analysis Officer, tel: 0131 313 6516, email:, or Gavin Bruce, Assistant Director – Funding, tel: 0131 313 6585, email:

Richard Maconachie FCCA
Director of Finance

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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