Today our blog focuses on our new pilot to recruit and retain maths and physics teachers in Opportunity Areas, whilst we also address a report by the Local Government Association on school standards.
Maths and Physics Teachers
Today, Thursday 23 May, we are launching a pilot of £2,000 per year bursaries for new teachers in maths and physics to be based in Opportunity Areas , Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East Opportunity Areas are social mobility ‘cold spots’ where the department is prioritising resource to improve social mobility. This announcement has been covered by the Independent, the Times and the Mail.
The pilot will run for an initial two years and is aimed at retaining teachers in these crucial subjects. The pilot is backed by £10 million in funding and will further support teachers in the areas benefitting from the Government’s £72 million Opportunity Area programme.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:
Teaching remains a popular career, but we want to make sure that we can continue to attract and keep the brightest and best graduates, particularly in subjects where specialist knowledge and expertise are vital to the future success of the economy.
The number of young people studying science and maths subjects has increased since 2010 and we have today pledged £10 million investment to ensure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling proposition and that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Today, the LGA has issued a report on school standards. The report says that local authority maintained schools are more likely to retain a Good or Outstanding rating than those that become academies. This was covered by the Guardian and the Times.
Academies Minister Lord Agnew said:
The LGA’s interpretation of this analysis is deeply flawed. The data actually underlines why our reforms were necessary and morally right, by pointing out how many under-performing schools were taken out of local authority control and turned into academies. It is unsurprising that local authorities fare better in an analysis which exclude schools that had failed under their leadership. It does not say anything about the effectiveness of sponsored academies.
Contrary to the LGA’s interpretation, data published earlier this year shows that, in many cases, standards have risen more quickly in under-performing schools that have become academies than in similar council-run schools – reversing long-term cases of underperformance across the country.