Press release: PhD graduates offered up to £40,000 to work in the classroom

Leading graduates with PhDs are being offered salaries of up to £40,000 to work in schools, in a government drive to attract some of the best brains into the classroom.

An astrophysicist, an archaeologist and a published author are among those who have previously secured places on the 2-year on-the-job school training programme, Researchers in Schools.

The application window for the second round of interviews for the scheme is now open, with places still available across the country.

More than 70% of the first wave of recruits from top universities are training to teach maths and physics, through the government-supported Maths and Physics Chairs programme.

School Reform Minister Nick Gibb said:

As part of our plan for education, we are committed to attracting the best graduates, including those with PhDs, into the classroom from our leading universities.

The Researchers in Schools programme is helping to attract accomplished experts into our schools – to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject.

Over two-thirds of existing teachers already hold a 2:1 degree or better – and this programme will help us go further and raise standards in vital subjects like maths and physics.

The Researchers in Schools programme is the world’s only teacher training course that requires applicants to have a PhD in their subject.

Trainee teachers on the programme are given time to continue with their academic studies. They become Honorary Research Associates at King’s College London or another leading university.

Jonathan Sobczyk, Director of Researchers in Schools, said:

Researchers in Schools demonstrates that exceptional PhD graduates are queuing up to become outstanding teachers.

We are excited that our programme, which is recruiting trainees from all subject backgrounds, is now rolling out to 7 regions and have been overwhelmed at the demand from high calibre candidates seeking to work with young people, help them excel academically and achieve their aspirations.

Further information

Applications for the 2015 to 2016 recruitment window are open until Monday 4 May.

Applications are now open in 7 regions of the UK, that is the:

  • south-west
  • south coast
  • south-east
  • central England
  • west Midlands
  • east Midlands
  • north-west

Every maths and physics applicant who secures a place on the Researchers in Schools programme will benefit from a salary of up to £40,000.

Leading businesses, such as Goldman Sachs, Shell and Northern Gas Networks sponsor the programme, including contributing to training costs and offering and supporting the significant salary uplift to attract the very best candidates. As well as building relationships with post-doctoral researchers, businesses that sponsor the programme will offer opportunities to the schools and pupils associated with the programme.

The Researchers in Schools pilot last year saw 10 London state comprehensives welcome 20 new trainee teachers as part of the learn-on-the-job initial teacher training programme, led by Lampton School and George Abbot.

Trainees on the pilot programme, like Clara Souza Silva, were selected from nearly 200 applications for their communication and inter-personal skills as well as their research backgrounds. Clara is an astrophysicist who studied at University College London and the University of Edinburgh and is teaching at Isleworth and Syon School for Boys. She has continued with aspects of her research into atmospheric characterisation of cool stars and exoplanets by becoming the education co-ordinator for Twinkle, a UK-led and gender-balanced space mission.

More details can be found on: www.researchersinschools.org.

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