CASH incentive payments of £2,000 will be offered for maths and physics teachers in the North-East, in addition to existing bursaries, it has been announced.

Teachers in the first five years of their careers in these subjects will be eligible for the Government payment as part of a drive to increase rates of retention among teachers of these subjects.

The initiative announced today will further support teachers in the areas benefitting from the Government’s £72 million Opportunity Area programme.

Backed by £10 million investment set aside from last year’s budget, the pilot will test a new way of incentivising maths and physics teachers to remain in the profession.

The scheme is based on evidence from the Gatsby Foundation and Education Policy Institute, which highlighted the potentially significant impact of such retention payments.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said: “Teaching remains a popular career, but we want to make sure that we can continue to attract and keep the brightest and best graduates, particularly in subjects where specialist knowledge and expertise are vital to the future success of the economy.

“The number of young people studying science and maths subjects has increased since 2010 and we have today pledged £10 million investment to ensure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling proposition and that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

This follows the launch of the government’s first-ever integrated strategy to recruit and retain more teachers in schools – and will build on the 30,000 classroom teachers the government aims to recruit each year and support the 450,000 teachers already working in schools in England.

The pilot runs alongside Government plans set out in the Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy to improve incentives on offer to teachers in England to include retention-based payments for those who stay in the profession by staggering additional payments throughout the first years of their career.

Mike Parker, director of Schools North East, said: “High-quality teaching has a profoundly positive impact on children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There are many factors that account for the disparity in outcomes for pupils in economically disadvantaged areas when compared with more affluent ones, but the availability and retention of teaching talent is among the greatest.

“Physics and maths are vital disciplines for the vibrant and successful sectors that are driving the economy in the North East. Investing in recruitment and retention of teachers is essential not only to the future success of pupils in this area but also to the long-term economic outlook of the region.”