Government says up to £6000 will be available for some STEM subjects

From September, up to £6000 will be available for teachers working in key STEM and technical subjects such as maths, construction and engineering, as well as early years education, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced.

The expansion of the Levelling Up premium payment scheme to those working in further education and to a wider range of subjects for the first time will support young people to progress skills that will help grow our economy the government said. 

It will also double the existing Levelling Up premium payments to school teachers of maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

The DfE said this incentive is part of the government’s drive to support schools and colleges to recruit and retain the talented teachers they need in the future, and ahead of the introduction of the Advanced British Standard – a new baccalaureate style post-16 qualification which is set to bring together the best of technical and academic education.

At the heart of the proposals for the Advanced British Standard are an increase in teaching time of around 200 hours over the course of the qualification, greater breadth and choice of subjects for young people and a core focus on maths and English.

Backed by an investment of around £200 million over the next 2 years, the government said it will ensure more young people – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – continue to have access to the world-class education and training they need in the subjects to fulfil their potential, whilst plugging skills gap and boosting the economy.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “Teachers are the heart of our education system, inspiring young people and shaping future generations.

“By offering incentives of up to £6,000, we’re ensuring schools and colleges can support the recruitment and retention of dedicated teachers in high priority subjects and in the areas that need them most.

“This will make a real difference to schools and colleges across the country allowing them to provide world class education for all ahead of the Advanced British Standard, whilst giving businesses the skilled workers they need to drive economic growth.”

The government said the programme is being expanded to cover further education teachers teaching in ‘vital’ subjects including early years, building and construction, digital, engineering, manufacturing and transport engineering and electronics.

Levelling Up Minister, Jacob Young, said: “Spreading opportunity is at the core of the government’s levelling up mission because while we know ability is spread evenly, opportunity is not. That includes supporting young people to thrive through a quality education as everyone deserves the best start in life.

“A high-quality education relies on excellent teachers and this funding will help schools and colleges attract and retain the staff they need to equip our kids with the best possible start in life.”

There are record numbers of teachers working in schools – up by 27,000 since 2010. To attract the brightest and the best teachers, the government said it is investing £196 million this academic year to get more teachers across key subjects.

The DfE added that in-order to attract and retain the ‘brightest and the best further education teachers’, £470 million is being invested over two financial years from 2023-24 to enable providers to address key priorities, such as recruitment and retention, and providing additional support through the Teach in FE campaign and the Taking Teaching Further programme.

The Advanced British Standard will mean most students choose a minimum of five subjects from a menu of options. The subjects will be built on A-levels and T-levels, retaining their rigour and focus on building knowledge. 

By increasing teaching time and the breadth of what students can study, including maths and English, the Advanced British Standard will widen students’ career options and bring England in line with major economies such as France, Germany, Japan and the USA.

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