A new government-funded scheme to recruit top A-level students into teaching has attracted 50 applications.
The Future Teaching Scholars programme offers “high-quality” A-level students a £15,000 grant to take a maths or physics degree before going into a guaranteed on-the-job teacher training place.
The original January deadline for applicants was recently pushed back until the end of March, fuelling speculation there had been few applications.
But Schools Week understands Department for Education (DfE) officials are confident they are on course to meet the applications target.
A DfE spokesperson said: “Recruiting high quality science and maths teachers is part of our plan to spread educational excellence everywhere.
“In just under a month we have had 50 applications for the first cohort of the Future Teaching Scholars and are continuing to invite applications.”
The spokesperson would not confirm the recruitment target.
The scheme – due to start this September – is funded by the DfE, but run by the Education Development Trust (previously known as CfBT) – a charitable trust which also runs an academy chain.
The DfE advertised the contract for promoting, recruiting and delivering the programme as being worth £16.4 million. In return the trust is expected to recruit three cohorts and deliver the programme between 2015 and 2024.
Schools Week approached the trust for comment, but was told to direct queries to the DfE.
The programme is part of a £67 million package announced last year by David Cameron to recruit 2,500 more maths and physics teachers.
Degree students get £5,000 for every year of their three-year course, alongside training and classroom experience before moving on to teacher training.