Budget 2017: Schools to get £600 for extra A-level maths pupils

Schools and colleges will get £600 for every extra pupil who studies maths at A-level under a proposal due to be set out in tomorrow’s budget.

The chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, will announce the £177 million incentive tomorrow as part of a raft of new measures for schools.

The Treasury said the money for maths skills will cover a £600 payment to schools and colleges for every extra pupil who continues to study the subject beyond GCSE.

Schools and sixth form colleges will receive the cash boost “for every additional new student who decides to take maths or further maths A Levels, or core maths”, officials said.

“There is growing need for advanced quantitative and maths skills in the workforce to ensure the UK remains a competitive force in the global marketplace.”

At the moment, around 90,000 pupils a year study maths at A-level.

Funding incentives were recommended by Sir Adrian Smith in his recent review of post-16 maths.

In his report, Smith said the government should “urgently” consider increasing the financial incentive for both AS and level further maths, and “consider providing a funding incentive for student programmes which include core maths”.

Hammond will also announce £42 million in funding for a trial of a new “teacher development premium”, which will see £1,000 handed to teachers in “areas that have fallen behind”.

The money will be used to pay for “high-quality professional development opportunities”, the Treasury said.

The additional announcements, which come on top of plans for a £100 million new National Centre for Computing announced earlier this week, are thought to have been added at the last minute to satisfy Downing Street ahead of what was widely expected to be a bland budget.

It is not yet known whether the budget will include any additional money for schools to fund larger pay rises for staff and other cost pressures.

The Treasury has given the School Teachers Review Body leeway to offer a pay rise above the 1 per cent cap that has been in place for several years, but education unions say schools will struggle to implement such a rise if they do not receive further funding.

At the weekend it emerged that a pay rise and extra funding for nurses was on the cards, but it is unclear whether this will be extended to other public services like schools.

The chancellor will make his budget statement in parliament shortly before 1pm tomorrow.

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