The incentive is backed by £200 million investment to support schools and colleges attract and retain the excellent teachers they need in vital subjects.

From September, up to £6000 will be available for teachers working in key STEM and technical subjects such as maths, construction and engineering, as well as early years education, as part of the government’s drive to recruit and retain the best staff, the Department for Education announced.

The expansion of the levelling up premium payment scheme to those working in further education and to a wider range of subjects for the first time will support young people to progress skills that will help grow our economy. It will also double the existing Levelling Up premium payments to school teachers of maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

The incentive is part of the government’s drive to support schools and colleges to recruit and retain the talented teachers they need in the future, and ahead of the introduction of the advanced British standard – a new baccalaureate style post-16 qualification which is set to bring together the best of technical and academic education.

At the heart of the proposals for the advanced British standard are an increase in teaching time of around 200 hours over the course of the qualification, greater breadth and choice of subjects for young people and a core focus on maths and English.

Backed by an investment of around £200 million over the next 2 years, it will make sure more young people – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – continue to have access to the world-class education and training they need in the subjects to fulfil their potential, whilst plugging skills gap and boosting the economy.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:

Teachers are the heart of our education system, inspiring young people and shaping future generations.

By offering incentives of up to £6,000, we’re ensuring schools and colleges can support the recruitment and retention of dedicated teachers in high priority subjects and in the areas that need them most.

This will make a real difference to schools and colleges across the country allowing them to provide world class education for all ahead of the Advanced British Standard, whilst giving businesses the skilled workers they need to drive economic growth.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan. Photo: UK Gov.

This move is part of plan to deliver a world-class education system for all, where primary children are the ‘best in the west’ at reading and 90% of schools are now rated good or outstanding – up from just 68% in 2010.

The £6000 incentive is being offered through the government’s levelling up premium doubling payments introduced in 2022 to support schools in disadvantaged areas across the country to recruit and retain the teachers they need in maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

The programme is being significantly expanded to cover further education teachers teaching in vital subjects including early years, building and construction, digital, engineering, manufacturing and transport engineering and electronics.

Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young said:

Spreading opportunity is at the core of the government’s levelling up mission because while we know ability is spread evenly, opportunity is not. That includes supporting young people to thrive through a quality education as everyone deserves the best start in life.

A high-quality education relies on excellent teachers and this funding will help schools and colleges attract and retain the staff they need to equip our kids with the best possible start in life.

David Hughes, chief executive, Association of Colleges said:

This extra funding will help attract and retain key staff in colleges, so I welcome the expansion of the Levelling Up premium.

The issue of teacher recruitment is one of the most pressing challenges facing the sector, particularly in these key areas where experts working in industry are likely to earn salaries significantly beyond those of teachers.

There are record numbers of teachers working in schools – up by 27,000 since 2010. To attract the brightest and the best teachers, the government is also investing £196 million this academic year to get more teachers across key subjects.

The incentive will build on this by making sure we have more excellent school teachers as well as further education teachers in classrooms across the country so that young people have access to the world-class education and training they need to succeed.

To attract and retain the brightest and the best further education teachers, £470 million is being invested over two financial years from 2023-24 to enable providers to address key priorities, such as recruitment and retention, and providing additional support through the teach in FE campaign and the taking teaching further programme.

The advanced British standard will mean most students choose a minimum of five subjects from a menu of options to give more breadth and flexibility. The subjects will be built on A Levels and T Levels, retaining their rigour and focus on building knowledge. By increasing teaching time and the breadth of what students can study, including maths and English, the Advanced British Standard will widen students’ career options and bring England in line with major economies such as France, Germany, Japan and the USA.

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