Mature entrants to maths teaching are excluded

10th January 1997 at 00:00
Once again an article on your inside pages has said that there is a shortage of maths and science teachers, and that this will cause a major problem in the next few years. The article intimated that this was due to "the weakening of an already poor supply". I would like to know where this information originated - from schools, the Office for Standards in Education, or where?

I was a mature student, from industry and over 40 years of age. All of my younger colleagues on the secondary maths course found jobs and started last September. They have all started on scale 1, because of my background and age I would be offered a scale 5 or thereabouts. It is quite obvious that if a school is going to employ an newly-qualified teacher, who would not initially teach the full timetable, and also would require mentoring, it is financially more sensible to pick the younger student.

There are a large number of mature students who are not working, and indeed unlikely to find a job, because schools cannot afford them. The few interviews that I have attended have invariably resulted in the appointment of existing teachers, with their NQT year well behind them. There is talk of offering financial inducements to encourage more maths and science students. It would be better if this money were to be re-routed to encourage schools to accept mature students.

At the moment if there is anyone in industry (of mature years) thinking of making a switch to teaching, don't.

PETER CANWELL (BA(QTS) maths, unemployed) Gosmore The Square Westbourne Emsworth Hants

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today