“When it comes to improving maths and science education in the UK it is quality as well as quantity that counts” says Tutors International

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Tutors International, the world’s leading provider of full time private tuition, today responded to Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement to invest in training maths, science and technology teachers.

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If the Government were brave enough to make science and maths compulsory subjects post-GCSE, the numbers of trained professionals in this area would get close to what is needed.

Leading global tuition agency, Tutors International, which was founded in 1999 by Adam Caller, has published its comments on the Government’s recent announcement[1] to invest in the areas of maths, science and technology and the underlying issues facing this sector of education.

The Prime Minister has released plans to invest £67 million in a project, which will involve offering bursaries to suitable graduates to pay for the cost of retraining as a maths, science or technology teacher. It is hoped that this will result in 15,000 teachers being retrained over the course of next year; this comes after concerning shortfalls in these specialisms.

As a former physics teacher this is a field Mr Caller is experienced in, and although the educational specialist is pleased by the announcement he also expresses doubts on its long term success, stating that to get it right, Britain should look at how other countries make it work. “Both the European Baccalaureate and the US system call for knowledge in these fields that is science technology employers are looking for,” he explains. “In the US, students take around six subjects in junior and senior years at high school. Those subjects include maths and science, meaning all high school graduates in the US study maths and science to a higher level than UK state schools.”

It is the UK’s inability to consistently produce employable young people that is of great concern to Mr Caller: “We currently have a 40,000 annual short-fall in scientists, engineers, mathematicians in this country, employing more teachers will only help if we can ensure a high standard of education is taking place and that students want to study these subjects.”

The founder of Tutors International suggests that the Government hasn’t gone far enough: “If the Government were brave enough to make science and maths compulsory subjects post-GCSE, the numbers of trained professionals in this area would get close to what is needed.” In order to see this happen the A-level system would have to develop into something emulating the baccalaureate - a huge undertaking.

The standard of teachers in the fields of science, maths and technology is also an issue that Mr Caller has discussed previously: “I believe the UK is seriously falling below par in the standards of teaching for maths and science at A-level. There are some excellent teachers out there but the quality of science graduates is falling each year, and the UK needs to address this.”

The Prime Minister's scheme could see 75% of the cost of training paid for, as well as payments for living expenses, but there are fears that this will not be enough, with around 1,000 new teachers needed in physics alone. Adam Caller agrees: “I’m not entirely sure where these top science students will be found and if this funding will be enough to entice them into a teaching career.”

References
[1] https://news.tes.co.uk/b/news/2014/12/08/cameron-announces-major-push-in-maths-and-science.aspx TES NEWS: Cameron announces plan to retrain thousands of maths and science teachers, 8 December 2014.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced full-time private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of situations, including international relocation, after-school support, full-time home tuition, support for AD/HD and dyslexia, home schooling for frequent travellers, and college prep and coaching.

Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and AD/HD and is very sensitive to children's educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors with HNW and UHNW families around the world. Adam is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

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Andrew Knight
Tutors International
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Tutors International
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