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Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses (Chemistry)

Volume 598: debated on Monday 20 July 2015

7. What steps her Department is taking to increase the (a) provision and (b) uptake of subject knowledge enhancement courses in chemistry. (901092)

Thank you, Mr Speaker Bercow.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses allow trainee teachers to build on their existing knowledge to enable them to teach their chosen subject. We have reformed the programme so that the courses can now be delivered by schools and universities, and we are promoting the courses through the successful “Get into Teaching” marketing campaign. The additional training is free of charge and most participants also receive a bursary. New chemistry trainees are also eligible for a bursary of up to £25,000 in 2015-16.

Given that the number of primary teachers in Sheffield with a science degree is below the national average, does the Minister agree that it is wrong for the teacher supply model not to account for regional variation?

The teacher supply model takes into account the national position. There will, of course, always be areas of the country that find it more challenging to recruit than others, particularly rural areas or some coastal areas. We are also faced with the challenge of a strong economy. If you really want to make recruiting graduates into teaching easier, you need a weak and stagnant economy, with low growth, recession and high levels of unemployment, but for that you need a Labour Government.