Teaching continues to be a popular choice for those looking for a career, official figures show.
The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said that almost 40,000 people were registered to begin their initial teacher training this year, with a further 7,000 expected to begin on employment-based routes such as the graduate teacher programme.
Included in the figures were 15,600 on mainstream primary courses and 17,000 on mainstream secondary courses.
Chief executive of the TDA Graham Holley said that the figures demonstrated the agency's success in attracting the 40,000 trainees needed each year.
He said: "Although the number of training places has decreased, it is still essential that we continue to provide schools with the high quality new teachers Ofsted has judged to be the best trained ever.
"And with an increasingly diverse cohort of trainees, including around a third over the age of 30, schools are set to reap the benefits of the wide-ranging professional and personal experience they can bring to the school team."
Figures from the agency also showed that the diversity of teacher trainees had improved, with 11.6 per cent of applicants from a black or minority ethnic background, up from 11.1 per cent the year before.