Multi-million pound fund targets career changers


The government has set aside a multi-million fund to entice more ‘career changers’ into teaching in a bid to boost recruitment and retention.

A total of £13.5 million will be available for a firm to focus on professionals in other sectors who may consider a move into the classroom.

Designed to ‘aid the recruitment, transition, training and retention’ of these so-called career changers, the contract forms one part of a pair totalling £20.5 million.

According to a spokesperson for the department, the new scheme will look to “build on the experience of Now Teach”, a similar programme aimed at recruiting and training new primary and secondary school teachers.

Financial Times journalist Lucy Kellaway co-founded New Teach last September, and around three-quarters of its initial members graduated.

It currently focuses on supporting people in London, Hastings, East Anglia and the West Midlands, giving them the additional skills to make the transition from a professional workplace to the classroom.

The remaining funding will cover an extension of the Department for Education’s maths and physics chairs scheme, which places post-doctoral researchers into school settings.

The Department for Education has said it wants to enhance the existing programme by making it available for both School Direct (fee) and School Direct (salaried) teacher training routes.

Run by Researchers in Schools, the programme is currently only available for the salaried route, although it is hoped that the new plans will give schools and individuals more choice.

The news comes at a time when government figures show that nine of ten newly qualified teachers believe that their training has adequately prepared them for the classroom.

Some 91% of teachers said they felt their training has equipped them to deliver high teaching standards.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said the survey demonstrated “high levels of satisfaction” with current training programmes.

“It has never been a better time to join the teaching profession,” he added, revealing that more than 32,000 trainee teachers were recruited in the last year.