Very useful questions and answers for STEM issues

Back on Monday Sheryll Murray, the Conservative MP for South East Cornwall began with the first couple of questions and the Minister who responded was Jonathan Gullis who was a Minister for Education. The other MP who took part was Meg Hillier who is the Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch. The opening question from Sheryll was “What steps his Department is taking to attract science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers to work in disadvantaged areas.” and the response from Jonathan Gullis was as follows:

As someone who was a teacher for nearly nine years in disadvantaged areas in London and Birmingham, may I say that teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have? In 2020-21 there was an increase of more than 4,400 full-time teachers in state-funded schools in England. This has resulted in the largest qualified teacher stock since the school workforce census began in 2011. We know that there is more to be done in some areas, which is why early career maths, physics, chemistry and computing teachers working in eligible schools with disadvantaged pupil cohorts can now claim our tax-free levelling up premium.

Sheryll then responded with another more detailed question which was specifically focused on her community but it has a relevance in many other parts of the UK

One of the key disadvantages we have in Cornwall is the relatively high cost of housing. Cornwall is beautiful and people want to live there, but what more can the Department do to encourage teachers to come to Cornwall and not to other places with cheaper housing?

The response from Jonathan was as follows which is not limited to Cornwall

My hon. Friend will understand only too well, as a former resident of Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke, that, like Cornwall, it too is a place of outstanding beauty. This Government are committed to ensuring that affordable housing is delivered, and since 2010 more than 9,000 homes have been delivered in Cornwall. In August 2021 we announced £1 billion of funding from our affordable homes programme, which will be used to deliver more than 17,000 affordable homes across the south-west. I am pleased to say that Cornwall is also an education investment area and has 26 schools that are eligible for the levelling up premium, including Liskeard School and Community College in my hon. Friend’s constituency, and specialist teachers in certain subjects in those schools can claim up to £3,000 tax free annually. Finally, in March 2022—

There was then a very positive comment from Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons who said “Order. It is not a full lesson we are putting out, just a good answer.” and then Meg Hillier asked her question and it was responded by Jonathan which will be of interest to many people.

Disadvantage knows no boundaries and, likewise, we have huge challenges in our schools in Hackney. The Government promised that the starting salary for teachers would be £30,000. How close are the Government to reaching that manifesto commitment?

I am delighted to tell the hon. Lady that, at the next independent pay review, I have asked for this Government’s manifesto commitment to a £30,000 a year starting salary to be honoured for 2023-24.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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