ADG welcomes Government funding of additional dental school places needed in exams crisis

The ADG has welcomed the Government decision to provide additional funding for dental students at risk of not being able to start their studies this year because of the A Level exams crisis this week.

Unlike many University courses, dentistry (and medicine) have tightly restricted numbers on places, set by the Government. These had been largely filled for Autumn 2020. However, the changes in exams result grading announced by the Secretary of State for Education this week meant that not all applicants who now meet their offer of a place would have been able to start dental school in 2020 unless the cap for dentistry students was lifted.

Graduates are required to undertake foundation training in the NHS and this year’s increase in numbers will also have funding implications in years to come (and the facilities, such as the number of dental chairs in a school). These issues will need to be considered in planning funding for future years.

Neil Carmichael said:

“The ADG welcomes the Government’s decision to lift the cap for dentistry students. This is an important step in the right direction for delivering more access to dentistry through expanding the workforce through encouraging new entrants.

“It also remains essential and urgent to enable trained dentists from abroad to have an easier passage to being able to join practices in the UK. To tackle regional disparities in access to dentistry, enhance oral health and deliver solutions for people in socially deprived areas, we need more dentists in the immediate future.”