Children learning maths from a young age is important for a person to function socially and in society to conduct everyday daily basic tasks. Counting from use of numbers, adding and subtracting is first introduced by parents then taught at nursery school from 3-5 years old.
Stem teaching such as mathematics teachers teach a very important subject to pupils at primary & secondary school building up topic knowledge from fractions, multiplication, formulas and numbers for children to be skilled for a future career.
Mathematics is a compulsory important stem core subject for 5-16 years olds at primary & secondary school in UK resulting in maths teachers are always in demand. Being essential for pupils to learn they are taught basic & advanced number and maths skills for future life and career aspirations.
Maths teacher demand at primary & secondary schools
Primary and especially secondary schools in England, Wales and Scotland see maths teachers are in high demand continually to teach an essential core school subject.
UK secondary schools have the greatest demand for maths teachers that are specialists in they’re subject area to deliver good effective lessons towards students achieving the best possible grade they can.
Secondary mathematics educational learning & teaching for 11-18 year olds is at a progressively higher and more technical level than primary education. One reason demand is so high, schools know the value & skills maths teachers bring and the contribution they make to teaching, student learning and development of the department.
Employing a non subject specialist without a maths degree to teach maths means the teacher doesn’t have the most effective teaching methods, understanding and knowledge of the subject to deliver effective maths lessons.
A qualified specialist school maths teacher knows & understands mathematical concepts, formulas and varies methods of working outs to teach pupils effectively keeping them engaged in lessons using theory and practical instruction methods.
Sixth form key stage 5 for 16-18 year old pupils is optional mathematics course study in UK and is essential a specialist maths teacher delivers all teaching & learning.
Maths difficulty & the deep level of understanding of the subject is essential to help students learn and for the teacher to instruct & answer questions knowledgably & confidently.
At KS3 11-14 pupils are being taught a range of topics, some of which they are building on the knowledge from primary school such as fractions, percentages and shapes.
KS4 for 14-16 year old school students they are further taught more advanced maths topics towards examinations at school leaving age at 16 years old.
The importance of effective teaching and towards students learning maths progressively is key for them to gain mathematical skills that are useful in future life.
Why is there a mathematics teacher shortage in UK?
There is a shortage of maths teachers in UK, especially subject specialists in secondary schools teaching 11-16 years olds. UK maths teacher shortage main result is from graduates with good maths skills & qualifications have many career choices and school teacher is generally low down a graduate’s desirable occupation list.
Private companies, local & national government and other professional industries are always keen to attract & retain the best employees with advanced mathematics skills & analysis to further develop the organisation.
Great demand for maths graduates with advanced mathematical skills provides an organisation a valuable human resource. Statistics & maths skills can be used to calculate, quantify, analysis, solve & forecast present and future financial events.
Private companies can therefore predict future cost of production, produce financial modelling or cost adjustments or analysis financial markets to save or make more revenue.
A graduate with a good maths degree can earn a starting salary package of £48,000-£120,000 per annum compared to a school teacher starting on £30,000 in English schools.
Also, maths graduate pay & bonuses tend to rise faster and with bigger increments in a shorter time span with much higher salary awards than UK classroom teachers are offered.
Put simply, with a maths degree a graduate can earn a much higher salary working for a commercial company in finance, research, logistics or consulting than a teacher.
Another reason for the maths teacher shortage in secondary schools in UK there’s some pupils with disruptive behaviour while teaching maths to 11-16 making it more mentally draining than many other occupations.
From my time teaching maths in England students were less keen to learn maths than other subjects they perceived easier to learn.
Some graduate do stay in education, although they become university lecturers where they can teach and conduct research with no behavioural issues that UK schools have, still enjoying longer holidays than commercial companies.
Maths teacher shortage London & England
London has 32 boroughs made up of inner & outer London with many secondary state and independent schools. A qualified teacher who has satisfactory teaching skills they’ll not find it’s hard to get a teaching job in London?
There’s an acute shortage of maths primary teachers and trainee & qualified mathematics secondary teachers currently working in London.
According to the London City Hall: “The nationwide teacher shortage is hitting London hard. Secondary school places are set to increase further over the next five years, meaning we need more schools, headteachers and teachers”.
For decades maths teachers in high demand teaching for KS3/4 secondary school, sixth AS/A Level and as primary school mathematics specialists for KS1/2 children from 5-11 years old have been less attracted to teaching in London.
Why is there a teacher shortage in London? Secondary and primary schools are in areas with high cost of living, low affordability for buying a house or flat locally on a class teacher salary. This puts off many teachers to stay or relocate for classroom or headteacher job opportunities as travel costs into London are also a considerable financial cost.
Even with the London cost of living teacher salary being higher than other parts of the UK affordability of housing, social and leisure activates deters some teachers from working in London schools.
England Education Department announced from August 2022
“Teachers in the early years of their careers will be able to get a salary boost of up to £3,000 tax-free to teach maths, physics, chemistry and computing. This will support recruitment and retention of specialist teachers in these subjects and in the schools and areas that need them most”.
Council boroughs advertise early each year or continuously for maths teachers for schools in the catchment area. Recruitment agencies are also used to attract hard to fill teaching job such as maths specialists and for supply teachers to cover absent teachers.