Teachers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th March 2015.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take to enable teachers of STEM subjects in secondary schools to participate in continuing professional development to maintain their awareness of the career opportunities relevant to their subjects.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

It is for school leaders to determine with their teachers what forms of professional development would be most effective in particular circumstances and to fund this from their delegated budgets. However, the government is continuing to improve the capacity of schools to take the lead in training and developing teachers, including teachers of STEM subjects in secondary schools. This includes supporting schools to lead on the creation of high-quality training opportunities for teachers through the national network of teaching schools. The department is providing funding of £7.2 million from April 2014 to support the National Science Learning Network which delivers high-quality science professional development locally through partnerships.

On 11 March 2015 the Prime Minister announced new measures to recruit more maths and physics teachers. This includes making £24 million available to train and upskill 15,000 existing non-specialist mathematics and physics teachers over the next 5 years. This will enable every secondary school in England to up-skill at least 1 of their staff in these subjects each year. The successful Maths and Physics Chairs programme is being expanded to recruit 100 experts with PhDs to teach and support the subject knowledge development of 2,000 physics and maths teachers in the school partnerships where they work. They are especially targeted in disadvantaged areas.

It has also been announced that the government is supporting the establishment of a new, independent professional body – the College of Teaching. This new organisation, which is being set up by teachers for teachers, will play an important part in promoting high professional standards and effective development for its members.

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