Teacher training is never straightforward. But we still need trainee teachers

Fluctuation and moveable feasts

It’s not surprising teacher training numbers fluctuate. After all, it’s never clear how much funding will be available from year to year. The number of students wanting initial teacher training places is always a moveable feast.

Teacher training funding is down by £13 million

Scotland particularly appears to be having quite a tough time in the teacher training sector, according to an article published in the TES this week. Compared to 2009, teacher training funding is down by £13 million. It would be difficult to swallow such a cut but when you consider Scotland is suffering from a teacher recruitment crisis this is a cruel blow.

Shortages and spending a never-ending story

Obviously teacher shortages are evident in schools and parents are very concerned. However, the government is keen to put out the message that initial teacher training has enjoyed an increase in spending.

What long term impact will there be?

Keep calm and apply to be a maths teacher

Keep calm and apply to be a maths teacher

Things are being done and there has been investment into the profession. One interesting strategy was to take workers who had been made redundant from the oil industry and retrain them as teachers within the secondary sector. It will be interesting to see just how successful that initiative is in the long term.

Is teaching still as attractive?

The summer is over and it’s time to consider teacher training as an option

The summer is over and it’s time to consider teacher training as an option

It seems  there are too many other Jobs taking people away from the teaching profession. When you look at the increase in the number of start-up businesses in the UK it is clear to see that many people are choosing to become their own boss in an entrepreneurial environment rather than working in schools.

Teaching has always been seen as a vocation

In many ways it still is, but the profession has changed in the last 25 years. Yes there are insufficient teachers, and it’s likely society will pay a very heavy price for this lack. In very simple terms there will be insufficiently educated workers to fulfil the challenging and fast paced roles on offer in society.

The economy needs teachers to thrive

The economy needs first class teachers for it to survive and thrive

The economy needs first class teachers for it to survive and thrive

After all, the economy depends on a well educated, flexible, agile and forward thinking workforce. Exposure to such skills must begin early on in any child’s education. Teachers have the knowledge, the patience and communication skills to allow pupils to flourish and eventually take their place as  valuable members of society. A lot is riding on our ability to encourage more teachers to train and also encourage governments to back such a recruitment drive.

We know the government has to juggle shifting demographic changes

At one point Scotland was experiencing vast numbers of the unemployed teachers. This was particularly acute between 2009 and 2010 where initial teacher training was cut by 25% and lost around £10 million in funding. Just seven years later we find the need for teachers is far greater once more.

400+ applicants for maths teacher training scholarships in 2016

The maths scholars scheme has managed to attract over 400 scholarship applications from potential maths teachers in the last 12 months. We believe that everything should be done to support these new entrants to the profession. Recruitment is not the only issue facing the teaching profession. Retention is also something we all need to work hard on. Far too many newly qualified teachers leave the teaching profession before they have completed five years teaching experience.

Where will your journey take you

Where will your journey take you?

The rewards are great

Those teachers that flourish and make it a career are passionate about their role and the young people they mentor, communicate with and educate. Working with youngsters is a privileged position and many people who leave the profession say how much they miss interacting with their classes and youngsters in general. Although every teacher will admit there are tough times and that often the pressure can be immense the rewards are just as great.

When we are five!

We are hoping to launch year five of the Maths Scholars scheme in October and urge anyone who is considering teaching maths to contact us before the scheme reopens. We are very interested to talk with past scholars, existing scholars and anyone who is involved in maths teaching. If you would like to be interviewed about your ideas, experiences and philosophy regarding teaching mathematics then please contact us. We’d love to feature your opinions and ideas on this blog.

Contact  the maths scholars scheme