Labor to support specialist science and maths teachers in primary schools

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A Foley Labor Government will invest $9.5 million to train 200 specialist maths and science primary school teachers.

Training 200 specialist teachers will help raise the participation and performance of students across the state in these important areas of learning.

Our young people must be prepared for the jobs of the future in an increasingly globalised world. Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills are essential for future workforce demands and critical to our future productivity and competitiveness.

In NSW there has been a downward trend in the number of students, particularly girls, studying science and maths subjects. The number of students undertaking maths and science based degrees is also declining across the country.

Under Labor’s program, teachers will undertake 20 days of training in maths or science over two years through a university-based course – giving them tools to work with colleagues at their own school and neighbouring schools to boost student participation in maths and science. The first 100 teachers will begin training in 2016.

Labor also reaffirmed plans for a Science and Mathematics Scholarship Program to provide 200 new scholarships a year to recruit the best and brightest teachers to our schools.

This program will invest an additional $6 million to support high quality science and mathematics graduates, and give them the opportunity to train as specialist teachers in secondary school maths and science.

Students will receive a $5,000 annual training allowance while studying full time for a teaching qualification. When they complete their studies, they are guaranteed permanent employment in a NSW public school and awarded a further $3,000 to assist with accompanying expenses.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

“Our young people will be competing for jobs in a global economy – it’s more important than ever to look to new ideas and new solutions to give our kids the best start in life.

“Getting kids interested in maths and science from an early age lays a strong foundation for the smart jobs of the future.

“This is part of Labor’s new approach to education in NSW.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Ryan Park:

“Science and maths skills are essential to our future productivity and competitiveness.

“Our kids are falling behind in terms of maths and science. Labor’s plan will give teachers the resources and knowledge to foster an interest in these subjects and lift performance.”