Press release

Quality maths graduates flock to teaching

Latest figures released from the Teaching Agency show that almost 1 in 5 maths graduates are becoming teachers.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Our classrooms are now staffed by high-achieving maths graduates according to the latest figures released from the Teaching Agency (TA). Data reveals that almost 1 in 5 maths graduates are becoming teachers. In addition, for the first time, over half of new maths trainee teachers have upper second-class degrees, or better.

The data, from the Higher Education Statistical Unit, shows that 18.5% of maths graduates surveyed 3-and-a-half years after graduating chose to go into teaching. TA’s own data also shows that the proportion of maths graduates entering training with a 2:1 degree or better has risen from 44% to 51% in just 3 years.

Together, these figures confirm that teaching is an increasingly popular choice for the most able graduates, reflecting the good employment prospects which teaching currently enjoys. Teachers are also twice as likely to attain management positions early in their careers when compared to many of their fellow graduates.

Lin Hinnigan, chief executive of the Teaching Agency, commented:

The fact that we are attracting more, high-quality maths specialists into the classroom is excellent news and will help to raise attainment in maths in our schools. There are a few places remaining to start teacher training in maths this September, with tax-free bursaries of up to £20,000 available. People interested in teaching should apply to train now and take advantage of great employment prospects, career progression opportunities and a competitive starting salary.

Michelle Gora, a maths graduate who worked as a financial analyst for two years in the City before switching into teaching a year-and-a-half ago, said:

As a maths graduate, a career in the city seemed the logical choice but I soon realised it wasn’t for me. I want a career with long term prospects that I will still enjoy in years to come. Since making the switch, I haven’t looked back. I’m starting at a new school in September, with a healthy salary, and have a personal goal of making it to head of department as soon as possible!

Graduates interested in a career in teaching maths should visit the Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching page or contact TA’s maths line on 0800 953 4988.

Notes to editors

  1. Analysis of the HESA data was carried out by HECSU on behalf of the Teaching Agency. The Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey is the official biannual follow-up to the annual national survey. It examines the careers of a sample of UK graduates, 3.5 years after they have graduated, and is designed to give a longer-term insight into the early career progression of graduates. It aims to build a picture of how graduates move into the jobs market, and their early steps in establishing jobs and careers as they become more experienced and more aware of their options.

  2. ITT training data and surveys - census data.

  3. The Department for Education Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Implementation Plan.

  4. Tax free bursaries of up to £20,000 are also in place. More information is available on the Department for Education’s postgraduate funding page.

  5. The Teaching Agency is responsible for initial teacher training (ITT) in England. It provides a comprehensive programme of support to help graduates become a teacher, providing guidance all the way through the application process.

  6. People interested in becoming a teacher should visit the Department for Education’s Get into teaching page or contact the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.

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Published 14 August 2012