Today, the Government announced that it would be launching a scheme to provide financial incentives for early career maths and physics teachers in the North East of England, Yorkshire, and other Opportunity Areas.
Following the announcement, Nigel Thomas, Executive Director at the Gatsby Foundation, said:
“We warmly welcome the Government’s announcement that cash incentives will be provided for thousands of early career maths and physics teachers. We have long advocated the use of modest salary supplements to retain teachers in shortage-subject areas, where better paid opportunities exist outside of the profession. Gatsby’s own research strongly indicates that financial incentives would be more effective at curbing teacher shortages in maths and science than recruitment measures alone.
We hope that this scheme will be the first of many steps to ensure that learners nationwide are able to receive a high-quality and robust science and maths education regardless of geography, background or circumstance.”
The initiative announced today, Thursday 23 May, will further support teachers in the areas benefitting from the Government’s £72 million Opportunity Area programme.
Backed by a £10 million investment set aside from last year’s budget, the pilot will test a new way of incentivising maths and physics teachers to remain in the profession during the first five years of their career.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:
“In a competitive graduate labour market it is vitally important that we continue to ensure that teaching is an attractive profession so we can train and retain the next generation of inspirational teachers.
“To help make that happen, we want to attract and retain the brightest and most talented graduates into our classrooms – in subjects where knowledge and expertise are vital to the future success of the economy, and the drive to recruit and retain more teachers reflects the fact the number of young people studying science and maths subjects has increased since 2010.”
The initiative is, in part, based on Gatsby's report, authored by Dr Sam Sims at Education Datalab, which highlighted the impact of salary supplements on increasing retention of subject-shortage teachers in the early stages of their career.
For the full report, please read: ‘What happens when you pay shortage-subject teachers more money? Simulating the effect of early-career salary supplements on teacher supply in England’ (2018).
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