Maths and physics teachers will be given an additional £2,000 a year to work in deprived or remote areas as the government seeks to overcome a recruitment and retention crisis.
The payments, on top of already generous bursaries offered to young people to train as a teacher, come as schools in remote and deprived coastal communities and market towns struggle to find and keep suitable staff, particularly in maths, physics and foreign languages.
Young newly qualified teachers in the two subjects will receive £2,000 a year for five years if they stay in the profession, teaching in the same area and the same subject.
Nick Gibb, the schools minister, will today announce the incentive for maths and physics teachers in the northeast, Yorkshire and the Humber, and a dozen “opportunity areas” including Blackpool, Hastings and Norwich. Backed by a £10 million investment set aside from last year’s budget, the pilot will test a new way of encouraging teachers to remain in the profession during the first five years of their career to counter a high drop-out rate.
More than 7,500 maths teachers have no relevant qualification higher than an A level.
The scheme is based on evidence from the Gatsby Foundation and Education Policy Institute which highlighted the potentially significant impact of such retention payments. Mr Gibb said: “Teaching remains a popular career but we want to make sure that we can continue to attract and keep the brightest and best graduates.”
Recent analysis by The Times showed that millions of pounds in training bursaries were being spent each year on graduates training as teachers but never entering the classroom.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “We’re sure that physics and maths teachers in a few areas of the country will appreciate a little bit extra in their pay packets in the next few months, but it is clear that the education secretary is determined to avoid a root and branch solution to the recruitment and retention crisis.
“This is in spite of a succession of reports and analyses of the Department for Education’s own data which show that ‘golden hellos’, bursaries and financial bungs are not the magic solution.”