More maths teachers could be on the way

The program will see existing teachers retrain in mathematics CCN339

Central Coast schools could see more specialist maths teachers in the near future thanks to a new initiative by the State Government to boost teacher numbers in the subject across regional schools.

The program will cover course fees for Master, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate for current teachers to retrain as maths teachers.

Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said the Mathematics Teacher Retraining Program will reduce barriers for teachers and boost expertise in regional classrooms.

“To be a maths teacher you need a major or minor in pure or applied mathematics in a bachelor/post-graduate qualification, which can be difficult to obtain while employed fulltime, making it hard for existing teachers to become qualified maths teachers,” she said.

“The government is making it easier for our teachers in the country to retrain and keep that valuable expertise in their local schools.”

Central Coast Council P & C (CCCP&C) spokesperson, Sharryn Brownlee, welcomed the move.

“Forty per cent of maths lessons are not taught by a trained mathematics teacher,” she said.

“Substitute teaching staff struggle to stay a lesson ahead of the students in many cases.

“It is unacceptable that some children have never had a qualified maths teacher (and) no wonder that mathematics results across every measure keep slipping.”

Brownlee said the new incentives were a great start but more needs to be done with many parents fearing their children’s high school years are compromised.

“Maths, science and IT need further incentives for teachers and extra resources to support the students who are being let down by not having the subject specialist teach them,” she said.

“There are nearly 700 public high schools and every one of them has a story to tell re staffing concerns.”

The Teacher Retraining Grants for partner providers will close on Tuesday, May 17.

It is expected that the pilot will then kick off in early 2023 with an initial cohort of approximately 40 teachers.

Terry Collins