New incentives to attract maths teachers to colleges

Published on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 09:38
Written by Daniel Mason

Up to £20m will be made available to encourage the brightest and the best to teach maths in further education colleges, skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock announced today.

The government has made maths an essential part of traineeships, apprenticeships and vocational education and in support of this will incentivise talented graduates to consider teaching in further education.

This raft of new funding will be available to support graduates who relish the idea of teaching in the further education sector and the institutions which recruit them. The funding will be channelled in three ways:

  • a golden hello; a bonus of £7,500 for graduates teaching maths in further education paid in the second year of teaching. This will rise to £10,000 if they train to support learners with special educational needs.
  • a recruitment incentive scheme; a bonus payment of £20,000 to colleges and training providers who recruit a specialist graduate maths teacher or £30,000 for those who will be sharing their teaching expertise with nearby institutions.
  • a subject knowledge enhancement scheme; to enable highly qualified graduates who have the skills and aptitude to teach but need to develop some specific maths skills before they start teacher training.

It is expected that these measures will result in the recruitment of over 500 specialist maths teachers by September 2015.

Hancock said: "Maths is an essential foundation for any career. Taught well it opens up a range of possible jobs and makes a real difference to progression to the highest levels.

"Attracting the brightest and best graduates to teach in maths in further education will help ensure learners get the educational grounding they need. This is an important step in creating a skilled workforce that meets the needs of employers and can better compete in the global race."

Education and Training Foundation chief executive David Russell said: "Maths is a vital vocational skill. Wherever they aspire to work, young people will need maths to succeed.

"No matter where they learn their vocational skills, young people and adults need top quality teachers, trainers and assessors who combine strong subject knowledge with good understanding of teaching and learning.

"I am delighted that government is putting serious investment behind maths teaching in further education to help attract the best. This package of support will give new professionals a great start to their careers teaching in colleges, training providers, community and work settings.

"The programme will also help colleges and providers to use these new teachers well, supporting learners where they learn best - with direct line of sight to work. The Education and Training Foundation already runs a range of programmes to provide subject updating for existing maths teachers, and we will similarly support these new professionals to develop throughout their careers."

This government has committed to a focus on essential skills in maths and English. Traineeships and 16 to 19 study programmes have been introduced to make sure that if school leavers do not have GCSEs in English and maths at age 16, they can work towards attaining them while learning work-based skills. Those pursuing an apprenticeship are now expected to work towards achieving maths and English GCSE at A* to C by the time they finish their training.

Bursaries available to postgraduate trainee maths teachers who hold a good maths degree will also increase in 2014 to 2015. New trainees on pre-service maths initial teacher training may be eligible for a bursary of £15,000 with a 2.2 or £20,000 if they hold a 2.1.

Source: BIS

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