We all know there’s a shortage in maths lecturers in the UK – colleges and schools are crying out for maths specialists to take up posts with them.
But one college, so it would seem, raised the bar *ever so slightly* when it comes to recruitment.
Winstanley College in Wigan advertised one maths teaching post with a cool salary of £2,409,839,329 a year. Why buy a lottery ticket when you could brush up on your maths knowledge and throw your hat in the ring for this job? Just think of all the whiteboard pens you could buy with £2.4 billion a year.
Ofsted: Colleges improve, ITPs decline
The teacher pay rise we've been waiting for?
Not surprisingly, the role attracted plenty of attention on Twitter. Catherine van Saaloos was the first to pick up on the job advert, suggesting that Winstanley was about to be inundated with applications.
Bedford College CEO Ian Pryce was the first big hitter to consider jumping ship:
Great response to changes in school teacher pay. Winstanley College getting ultra competitive on teacher remuneration!!! Think I might applyhttps://t.co/X8x3MOfSAE— Ian Pryce CBE (@ipryce) January 22, 2020
Others wondered where the money had come from, suggesting that the government's renewed interest in the North could explain the salary on offer.
Oooh right near me! This must be Northern Powerhouse funding 😂— Gaynor Bahan (@GaynorBahan) January 21, 2020
Or would the role inadvertently exacerbate the teacher retention crisis?
Now that is the type of pay rise that might help the retention crisis! Well for a year at least after which everyone retires to a tropical island leaving all the NQTs on 26k.— Beckneedsadonut (@1982beckyboo) January 21, 2020
Some questioned the validity of the post. Could be a human error?
Maths problem of the day...how many times do you have to move the decimal point to the left to get the true starting salary? (Not an audition for the job btw)— thesociologyguy (@thesociologyguy) January 22, 2020
It later transpired that the inflated salary was predictably caused by an old-fashioned typo (it happens even to the best of us). The confusion was caused by a missing hyphen: the post should have been advertised with a salary of £24,098 - £39,329.
The college's vice-principal, Mel Chadwick, said: "This did cause our finance director some alarm and a few raised eyebrows across college. Glad to say the error has been rectified now. I know good maths teachers are hard to find but this is going a bit far!'