TRAINEE teachers are set to be offered thousands of pounds in tax-free cash to study subjects where teachers are in high demand under new plans by the government.

New proposals would see bursaries of up to £24,000 offered to teachers looking to train in maths, physics, chemistry and computing - where there is a shortage of teachers - in a bid to recruit and retain more teachers in the subjects.

Announcing the bursaries, schools minister and Worcester MP Robin Walker said the money would help attract and develop world-leading teachers.

“Great teachers can transform young people’s lives, and I want this country to recruit and retain the most talented, committed teachers who support students to thrive and achieve their potential,” he said.

“Quality, face-to-face teaching is the single most important factor in supporting our young people to recover from the impact of the pandemic, and this investment provides a fantastic opportunity to attract and develop the world-leading teachers and school leaders who will guide, care for and educate our children for years to come.”

The plans were also welcomed by the University of Worcester which trains around 600 teachers every year.

Catriona Robinson, acting head of the University of Worcester’s School of Education, said: “Our region, and country as a whole, requires more high-quality trained teachers as they are critical to children’s lives, from the earliest years.

“We are committed to educating those professionals to work in our schools, early years settings and colleges, knowing they will go on to make a positive contribution, teaching with confidence and competence in order to inspire children and young people to achieve the very best that they can.

“We work closely and productively in partnership with more than 500 schools and education providers across the region, in the common goal to ensure that the education of children is the best it can be.

“This announcement has the potential to increase the numbers of highly qualified trainee teachers entering the teaching profession which is especially welcome as these individuals will play an important part in the levelling up agenda to address the educational disruption our children and young people are facing.”

A fund of £129 million will be made available for trainee teachers starting in 2022/23, which includes increased £15,000 bursaries for languages, geography and design and technology, and £10,000 for biology.

Teachers of maths, physics, chemistry and computing in the first five years of their careers will also receive salary boosts of up to £3,000.