When applying for the Secondary PGCE (Mathematics) School Direct course with the Thomas Estley Learning Alliance, in association with the University of Leicester, I was enlightened about the idea of applying for a Maths Scholar scholarship. This of course is through the Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (IMA). My Premier Plus Advisor mentioned that, although all prospective Mathematics teachers have access to the NCTL bursary, I could apply for a scholarship too. Naturally, this intrigued me – as I had applied for the Arkwright Scholarship back in Sixth Form (where I was, unfortunately, unsuccessful).

After being informed, I looked into the details of the scholarship that was offered by the IMA. I discovered that, as well as being offered financial support; the scholarship gave me access to many other bonuses. These were, for example, a two-year membership to the IMA, London Mathematical Society (LMS), Royal Statistical Society (RSS), Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) and the Mathematical Association (MA). There were also invites to Scholar Events – where I would be able to meet other scholars and hear seminars from leading professionals and researchers in the field of Mathematics and the teaching of Mathematics. Furthermore, the IMA provide a lot of support for their scholars in the form of newsletters and access to publications to assist us in our studies and research – as well as providing contacts within the IMA and Department for Education (DfE) in regards to the teaching world.

Apart from the obvious remark of ‘a scholarship will look good on my CV’, I feel that wearing the title of a Maths Scholar is something to be proud of. Not just having been selected (which I was fortunately!), but in the fact that I went above and beyond the norm and pursued a better environment for me to develop my teaching skills.

As well as this, it is something I can proudly explain to my future students that I was able to do and to encourage them to further themselves for their own benefit – as well as the people they may end up affecting in the future.

It also gave me the opportunity to face a prestigious challenge to practice and develop my interview skills and to meet like-minded prospective scholars to share ideas about the world of Mathematics. Finally, on a personal level, it showed me that, despite being declined a Scholarship before, you shouldn’t stop trying for things that may seem out of reach and that – with enough effort, dedication and passion – anyone can achieve any of their goals!

The Maths Scholars Scheme is proud to offer scholarships for aspiring Maths teachers.

There are so many inspiring reasons to join the teaching profession. With so many people living the freelance life wouldn't it be brilliant to have a role. This role gives enviable job security. You are important to a whole generation of students. Imagine seeing them join in Year 7 then go off to university after Year 13. Being a stable, inspirational influence on so many youngsters' lives is a wonderful role to undertake. When you ensure each student has the same access to quality education, with an opportunity to make something special of their lives; that's precious.

Teaching Mathematics is so important for the future of our economy, for encouraging the skills required and for instilling a love of this incredible subject. Doesn't that sound like an exciting opportunity for a fulfilling career?

Click here https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/ to find out even more about teaching.