Maths and physics graduates may be offered an extra £5,000 to attract them into teaching and help combat the long-term shortage of subject specialists.
Education secretary Michael Gove is insisting that more must be done to fill vacancies, promising to address flaws in teacher training programmes and encourage potential teachers to study the necessary subjects in sixth form and at university.
In an effort to stop the drought in maths and physics teachers, government deals with the Institute of Mathematics and the Institute of Physics have already seen £20,000 scholarships and training bursaries offered.
“We are keen to continue attracting the best maths and physics graduates. It is important that we are offering the incentives to ensure that we can do that,” a spokesperson from the Department of Education explained. “That is why we are considering increasing bursaries for high-class recruits in these subjects by £5,000.”
A rise in classroom numbers has been making the recruitment of qualified teachers even more vital. Yet new school-based training programmes such as School Direct have struggled to meet future demand for maths and science teachers, despite high numbers of applications to teach other subjects.
However, Teach First - a charity that takes on the brightest graduates from reputed universities and places them directly into schools for training - has had a more positive effect, with students in schools where their recruits are working achieving higher grades than those from schools without them.
Over 1,000 Teach First trainees are sent to schools in the poorest areas of the country every year, with half of them continuing in the profession. Gove has voiced commitment to assist schools training the next generation of teachers later this year.