Provide Education launches campaign to find maths teachers
Provide Education works with 2,200 teachers helping them to find supply teaching posts - and sometimes permanent jobs - in hundreds of schools across the region.
The agency now wants to add 20% more maths teachers to its books to help respond to the increasing number of vacancies in this core subject.
Provide’s campaign reflects a national shortage of maths teachers. Latest government figures show that the number of teacher vacancies in general increased by a third last year and, in a survey by PA News, three out of four local education authorities said qualified maths teachers were amongst the hardest to recruit.
At the same time, maths has overtaken English as the most popular subject to study at A-Level according to the Department for Education and the importance of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) is becoming more widely acknowledged.
Director of Provide Education, Barry Simmons, said, “Maths is an essential subject to be taught to children throughout their school years and demand for talented teachers in this subject is simply outstripping supply.
“We need more qualified people on our books. At the moment, there are more vacancies than available teachers. The numbers just don’t add up.”
Provide Education’s campaign is being backed by Gareth Hawley, of Rotherham, who has 35 years’ experience as a maths teacher behind him. Recently retired, he is now providing cover on short-term contracts for maths lessons in local schools through Provide Education.
Hawley said, “I have loved being a maths teacher for many years and I’ve taught children through to A levels who have gone on to university and become doctors and engineers. Its satisfying teaching to any standard though, maths and numeracy are key skills for all young people to grasp.
“It’s great to be teaching again now and I would urge any maths teacher, who has been away from teaching for any reason and would like to get back in the classroom, to give Provide a call.”
The Government is currently also trying to boost maths teacher recruitment nationally, encouraging more graduates to train as maths teachers with a package of measures including a £4,000 payment up-front.