HC Deb 01 July 2004 vol 423 cc431-2
11. Mrs. Annette L. Brooke (Mid-Dorset and North Poole) (LD)

What plans he has to increase the number of qualified teachers teaching mathematics in secondary schools.

The Minister for School Standards (Mr. David Miliband)

This Government have delivered an increase of about three quarters to the number of new entrants to maths teacher training in the past four years, and there are now one third fewer maths teacher vacancies than in 2001. The new measures announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 28 June will help schools to recruit and retain maths teachers, including through higher training bursaries, golden hellos for mathematicians, more maths places on the graduate teacher programme, and higher pay for advanced skills teachers.

Mrs. Brooke

How will the Minister finance his proposals for higher salaries? I have specific concerns about the pressures on teachers in low-funded authorities such as Poole and Bournemouth in which schools are struggling to identify funds to implement the work load reduction scheme. Surely it is important to ensure that we haw good conditions for all teachers.

Mr. Miliband

Obviously I agree that it is important that we have the right training, support and conditions for all teachers. I hope that the hon. Lady agrees that the Government's determination through the advanced skills teacher scheme, for example, to pay the extra salary from the centre gets over the sort of troubles to which she refers. As we have 4,000 advanced skills teachers, the measure represents major support for the quality of teaching throughout the country.