Teachers of 'vital subjects' including maths in disadvantaged schools to be paid extra £6,000

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Teachers of “vital subjects” including maths, early years and construction will be paid up to £6,000 extra, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Department for Education said the new incentives will be paid to help schools recruit and retain excellent teachers.

School maths, chemistry, physics and computing teachers will be eligible for the payment, while teachers working in further education colleges in maths, chemistry, physics, computing, building and construction,early years, engineering and manufacturing subjects will also be paid the incentive forthe first time.

The cash is being offered through the government’s Levelling Up premium, and it doubles the £3,000 payments that were first introduced in 2022 to help schools in disadvantaged areas to recruit and retain maths, physics, chemistry and computing teachers.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “Teachers are the heart of our education system, inspiring young people and shaping future generations.

“By offering incentives of up to £6,000, we’re ensuring schools and colleges can support the recruitment and retention of dedicated teachers in high priority subjects and in the areas that need them most.”

It comes ahead of the introduction of the Advanced British Standard – a new baccalaureate style post-16 qualification.

The government has pledged that there will be an increase in teaching time of around 200 hours over the course of the qualification, greater breadth and choice of subjects for young people and a core focus on maths and English.

Both A-Levels and T-Levels would be scrapped and replaced by the Advanced British Standard, and the move could take ten years to be fully realised.

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union has called the plans “out of touch with reality” and said it would require an additional 5,300 teachers.

Speaking about the £6,000 incentives, Ms Keegan said: “This will make a real difference to schools and colleges across the country allowing them to provide world class education for all ahead of the Advanced British Standard, whilst giving businesses the skilled workers they need to drive economic growth.”

Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young said: “Spreading opportunity is at the core of the government’s levelling up mission because while we know ability is spread evenly, opportunity is not. That includes supporting young people to thrive through a quality education as everyone deserves the best start in life.

“A high-quality education relies on excellent teachers and this funding will help schools and colleges attract and retain the staff they need to equip our kids with the best possible start in life.”

David Hughes, chief executive of Association of College, said the issue of teacher recruitment is “one of the most pressing challenges facing the sector, particularly in these key areas where experts working in industry are likely to earn salaries significantly beyond those of teachers.”

The Department for Education has slashed its secondary school teacher recruitment targets by almost a tenth, despite missing them by 50 per cent last year. It has also increased its primary school teacher target despite falling primary pupil numbers.

The £6,000 payments will be available to teachers in disadvantaged schools and all further education colleges. The money will be paid in the coming academic year and the following year. Teachers can apply from autumn 2024.