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