In return, they will have to commit to teach for three years after graduation

Students who opt for mathematics or physics degrees could be given £15,000 towards their university costs if they become teachers under Conservative plans to be set out today by David Cameron.

The Prime Minister will call for a drive to transform teaching in the two subjects as the number of employees in science and engineering companies continues to grow in Britain.

Under the plans, high-performing A-level students will be eligible for a bursary to help cover their student costs while they study maths or physics.

In return, they will have to commit to teach for three years after graduation.

From next month maths and science teachers who have left the profession will be able to receive specialist training in the subjects and help with job applications to help them return to the classroom.

New physics degrees which allow students to gain a teaching qualification alongside their degree course will also be piloted in 10 universities from 2016/17 and fast-track schemes to retrain people to become maths and physics teachers will be designed.

Plans for three new schools specialising in engineering, mathematics and computing and led by leading industry experts and universities will also be announced today.

Mr Cameron said: “I want to make Britain the best place in the world to learn maths and science – and because of our growing economy, we have a clear plan to deliver the best teachers to make this happen.”

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, said: “We want to attract more high-quality candidates to teach maths and physics and further raise the status of teaching as a rewarding career.”

But Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said the push to get more maths and physics teachers into classrooms was welcome, but “fundamental reforms” are needed to deal with a teacher recruitment crisis.

“There is a need for a robust strategy plan to make sure there are enough teachers coming through in every subject,” he said.

“Headteachers all over the country are reporting serious shortages in not only maths and science teachers, but also in English teachers, and in non-core subjects too.”