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Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK


Education

'Golden hellos' attract more teachers

Maths teachers are in short supply

The promise of a £5,000 cash bonus for students who train to become maths and science teachers is attracting more recruits, according to the government.

The scheme - dubbed "golden hellos" - was introduced by ministers in an attempt to tackle the acute shortage of maths and physics teachers.

The Education Minister, Baroness Blackstone, said latest figures showed there had been a 17% increase in applications for postgraduate teacher training courses in maths, and a 9% rise in science applicants.


[ image: Applications to teach science have risen by 9%]
Applications to teach science have risen by 9%
"The new £5,000 'golden hello' incentive scheme for maths and science graduates is having an effect in addressing the difficulties institutions have had in recruiting teachers in those subjects," she said.

The cash bonus, introduced in November 1998, is paid in two instalments.

When students begin teacher training courses in maths or science, they receive £2,500, with the remainder paid when they start teaching.

The £130m initiative was introduced as a result of a 60% shortfall in the number of trainee secondary school maths teachers and a 40% shortfall in trainee secondary science teachers.

But the overall number of applications for teacher training continues to fall, in spite of a government publicity campaign to encourage more young people to consider a career in the profession.

According to figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the numbers seeking to enter primary and secondary teacher training fell by 12.5% compared to last year.

However, Baroness Blackstone said the figures meant there were more than five applications per student teacher place.





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