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STEM support programme

The Post-16 STEM support programme managed by Myscience has been effective in raising the profile of STEM subjects within FE colleges, through engaging significant numbers of lecturers, technicians and senior managers with a range of professional development activities. Over 97% of participants have identified improvements in their teaching and learning, with 88% reporting positive impacts for students within a few weeks of participation. The Foundation has funded Myscience to build on and deepen the progress made so that capacity and capability in STEM is increased system-wide, including amongst Employment and Learning Providers (ELPs).

The National STEM centre website contains a wealth of material to support the improvement teaching of mathematics, and other STEM subjects, in the education and training sector.

Mark Ellis talks about Myscience and the STEM centre resources.



Maths enhancement programme

From September 2014, all students aged 16-19 who did not achieve A*-C GCSEs in English and maths by age 16 must continue studying these subjects and this is a condition of funding. This has created a significant workforce challenge for the FE sector to recruit specialist teachers, particularly in mathematics and English. Mathematics is one focus of this policy and the Foundation’s initiatives encapsulate the professional development and initial teacher education developments to support the workforce and hence raise learner participation and success.

Schemes to enhance the subject knowledge of existing teachers of mathematics to enable them to teach GCSE are being delivered by a number of providers.

The Education and Training Foundation has also funded and commissioned three lead providers from across England to deliver the initial teacher training scheme for on-the-job training of new graduates, or those who wish to make a career change. The aim is to enhance the quality of mathematics teaching in the education and training sector.

For further information on all these initiatives visit

FE Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Bursaries

The training bursary is a financial incentive to attract and retain new high quality graduates to become teachers in the Further Education (FE) sector.  Bursary levels will vary according to the degree classification held by the trainee and the specialism in which they wish to train to teach i.e. English language, mathematics (from basic to GCSE and level 3), or supporting learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Trainees must have at least an honours degree to access a bursary for mathematics, and at least a 2:1 degree for the English language or SEND bursaries. The new guidance and the application form are available here.

'Golden Hello' for mathematics teachers

The Golden Hello scheme may be of interest to those who are newly qualified teachers of mathematics or those who are thinking about becoming a mathematics teacher. A ‘Golden Hello’ of £7,500 is available if they meet the following criteria:

  • are a graduate
  • hold a full FE teaching qualification enabling them to teach maths to GCSE level
  • are employed in a teaching capacity by a publicly funded FE provider
  • teach mathematics GCSE for 50% or more of their timetable
  • started their first qualified mathematics teaching post in the period 1 April 2014 – 30 Sept 2015
  • remain in continuous employment for 2 years

For more information go to the FE Advice site: