Budget promises money for maths

22 Nov 17

The government will provide £40m to train maths teachers across the country to give pupils the knowledge needed for the digital economy, chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget statement.

During his statement today, Hammond also said the government would deliver three million apprenticeship starts by 2020, while secondary schools would get £600 for each pupil who studies A-level maths. 

But there was no extra cash allocated for core school spending, despite calls from head teachers across the country for £1.7bn extra funding last week.

“Knowledge of maths is key to the hi-tech, cutting edge jobs in our digital economy,” the chancellor said in his statement.

Hammond added the government would ensure that every secondary school pupil has the option to study computing, by tripling the number of trained computer science teachers to 12,000, with a commitment of £84m.

The Budget also committed £18m to fund an annual £350,000 for every maths school under the specialist maths school model.

The government would also invest an extra £20m to help teachers and colleges prepare for the introduction of new vocational qualifications called T-levels, Hammond said.

The first T-levels in digital, construction and, education and childcare, were announced last month to “help deliver a generation of home-grown talent post-Brexit”, the Department for Education said.

The Association of Colleges welcomed this investment and focus on maths and T-levels. In response to the Budget chief executive David Hughes said: “It highlights the commitment to high-quality technical education.

“The prominence the chancellor gave to skills in his speech today suggests that the government is finally understanding the critical role colleges have in a post-Brexit world.”

Hammond also announced a “historic partnership” between the government, CBI and TUC to set the strategic direction for a National Retraining Scheme.

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