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£40k salaries to boost science teaching quality

EXPERIENCED MATHS and science teachers will be paid at least £40,000 a year under new government proposals this week to boost science, engineering and technology skills in the UK.

Up to 5% of teachers will be given the opportunity to become Advanced Skills Teachers (AST).

Their greater contribution and expertise will be recognised through higher pay. They will also be excused other school management responsibilities.

'It is very important to reward and retain good teachers, ' says the Government's Science and Innovation document published this week with the comprehensive spending review.

The initiative follows publication of a report by Queen Mary University's Professor Adrian Smith, which concluded that maths teaching in schools was no longer 'fit for purpose' (NCE 26 February).

It promises deregulation of AST salaries to guarantee a higher minimum of between £40,000 and £45,000 in London.

ICE membership director Jon Prichard welcomed the move.

'To increase the pool of candidates with an awareness of engineering and the environment we must have a better quality of teaching providing exciting and stimulating lessons, ' he said.

The government has also announced that it will step in to rescue low demand university engineering and science departments if considered vital to national or regional economic development.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England will work with regional government and businesses if key departments face closure because of falling demand.

INFOPLUS To access the Science and Innovation go to www. nceplus.co.uk

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