Mathematics and Science: Teachers

Department for Education written question – answered at on 19 February 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Garden of Frognal Baroness Garden of Frognal Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) recruit, and (2) retain, more science and maths teachers in schools serving the most disadvantaged communities.

Photo of Baroness Garden of Frognal Baroness Garden of Frognal Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the gender divide amongst science and maths teachers in order to provide more positive role models for girls in the classroom.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Lords Spokesperson (Equalities)

The department is offering a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 after tax annually for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. For 2024/25 and 2025/26, the department will be doubling the rates of the Levelling Up Premium to up to £6,000 after tax. These payments will incentivise the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers within the schools where they are needed most.

The department has put in place a range of measures, including bursaries worth £28,000 tax-free and scholarships worth £30,000 tax-free, to encourage talented trainee teachers to key subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. This is alongside delivering a £30,000 starting salary for school teachers in all regions of the country, with a pay award of up to 7.1% for new teachers outside London.

This academic year, physics trainees from overseas are also eligible for bursaries and scholarships, and for a one-off payment of £10,000 as part of the international relocation payment pilot.

To encourage engineering graduates and career changers with an engineering background to consider a career as a physics teacher, the department has also launched the ‘Engineers teach physics’ Initial Teacher Training course. Following a pilot in 2022, the department has now rolled this out nationally.

The department is also taking action to support all teachers to stay in the profession and thrive and has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing and to support schools to introduce flexible working practices.

On the subject of diverse teacher role models in science and mathematics, there remains a larger proportion of female teachers than male teachers in state-funded schools overall (76%).

The department aims to support the diversity of the workforce through our communications campaigns, workforce programmes that support all teachers to develop across their careers, and policies to support the workforce, such as flexible working. For example, the Get Into Teaching marketing campaign supports diverse recruitment into the profession through inclusive recruitment campaigns and marketing materials, which strive to reflect the diversity of our target audiences who want reassurance that teaching is for people like them. The campaign regularly showcases STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds.

The department supports a range of work to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM education in schools, including funding a Stimulating Physics Network to improve the quality of physics teaching and improve progression to A level physics, particularly for girls.

More widely, the government supports girls and pupils from other underrepresented groups into STEM education through programmes such as the CyberFirst Girls competition which aims to promote cybersecurity careers to girls aged between 12 and 14.

The government also funds the STEM Ambassadors programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 registered volunteers representing thousands of employers, who engage with young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer. Approximately 48% of Ambassadors are women and 17% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, providing young people with a variety of role models.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.