A drive has begun to encourage high-flying professionals to help solve the teacher recruitment crisis by switching careers to teach maths and science.
A new organisation, called Now Teach, has been co-founded by journalist Lucy Kellaway, who is herself giving up her job as columnist and associate editor of the Financial Times to teach maths in a “challenging” London secondary school.
The charity was set up this year to give established professionals in the business world an opportunity to “do something meaningful” when they come to the end of their careers, and avoid a "colossal waste of talent".
The idea follows a similar suggestion by Baroness Warnock, who last year proposed Teach Last, which would give skilled retirees from a range of backgrounds the chance to teach as a “second profession”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Kellaway said: “I’ve had one of the nicest jobs in journalism by writing a column for 22 years. I love it, but I don’t want to spend my entire life doing it.
“I think teaching is hugely important and I’m in the luxurious position of being able to take on the task. My mother was a teacher. One of my daughters is a teacher. It’s in the family, and I’m very excited about making this move.”
Ms Kellaway, who is 57, will start her new career as a maths teacher from next summer.
The model for Teach Now is similar to Teach First, with participants going on a two week summer course before being trained on the job in schools.
Recruitment is beginning for a pilot year in 2017/18 which will be restricted to London secondaries. There is a focus on finding maths and science teachers but the charity says professionals who want to teach other subjects should also get in touch.
Now Teach has been set up in conjunction with Ark, and will work with the academy chain's teacher training scheme.