£40,000 cash incentive for PhD Maths graduates

By Hannah McDowell Monday, May 5, 2014

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Another benefit of studying mathematics has been highlighted by an announcement offering large cash incentives for maths and physics teachers.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said of students studying mathematics: ‘Teenagers studying these subjects will go on to underpin a flourishing UK economy’.

The announcement has recently been covered in an article by the BBC:

University fellows with a PhD in maths or physics are being offered thousands of pounds in extra wages to become school teachers in England.

They will be paid £40,000 a year for two years as teaching trainees. Other postdoctoral teacher trainees start on a minimum salary of £19,000.

The scheme - for non-selective state schools - aims to get more young people to study the subjects for longer. It will "build a pipeline" from schools to the world of work, ministers say.

It follows a warning last summer by recruitment expert Prof John Howson, of Oxford Brookes University, of a shortage of maths and science teachers.

'Salary uplifts'

The "Maths and Physics Chairs" programme will be joint-funded by the government and businesses including Samsung, GlaxoSmithKline, Barclays and BAE Systems.

Teachers on the programme will also be paid £40,000 for a third year when they are fully qualified.

The Department for Education (DfE) said sponsors would provide £75,000 over three years to fund "salary uplifts" and the cost of training and placing applicants in schools.

It forms part of the Researchers in Schools training programme for PhD graduates.

Education minister Elizabeth Truss said too many teenagers thought maths and physics were "niche subjects", adding: "That couldn't be further from the truth.

"They open the door to careers in everything from business or journalism to technology or engineering.

"By getting experts into schools we can build a pipeline from GCSE through to A-level and beyond into the world of work - teenagers studying these subjects will go on to underpin a flourishing UK economy," she said.

'Champion university'

The DfE said it would make teaching of the subjects "more inspirational, practical and cutting-edge - transforming the way the subjects are taught in schools in England and inspiring more pupils to study them".

"This will lead to more young people going into highly paid careers using these qualifications," it added.

PhD graduates are trained to become qualified teachers in the first year of the scheme - including through classroom teaching at a teaching school.

During the second year they teach a reduced timetable so they can "promote research and champion university access within schools" and can also carry out their own academic research.

As well as teaching at their own school, they will conduct master classes for pupils in networks of schools and set up free online maths and physics resources for schools to use.

They will be expected to establish links between schools, universities and business.

They will also help pupils to get work experience at the businesses that have sponsored them.

The large cash incentive and further benefits offered to PhD maths graduates go a long way in highlighting the government’s dedication to raising the profile and importance of maths and physics subjects.

Categories: Maths-Careers