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Welsh Government in push to attract STEM teachers to Wales - “Every day you could be the one positive thing that child needs”

Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymdrechu i ddenu athrawon STEM i Gymru - "Bob dydd, efallai mai chi fydd yr un peth cadarnhaol sydd ei angen ar blentyn

With British Science Week reaching its conclusion, prospective STEM teachers are being urged to explore the range of incentives available in Wales as applications are currently open.

A number of incentives have proven successful over recent years as a means of matching individuals with the desire and ability to excel in the classroom with areas of greatest need.  

The Welsh Government is offering up to £25,000 across three incentives to people who want to become teachers:

  • The Priority Subject Incentive Scheme: £15,000 for people with a specialism in a subject most needed in the secondary teaching workforce.
  • Iaith Athrawon Yfory: £5,000 to teach secondary subjects through the medium of Welsh.
  • The Ethnic Minority Incentive Scheme: up to £5,000 for eligible people to ensure the education workforce reflects Wales’ diversity.

The Priority Subject Incentive Scheme is available to those who hold a degree qualification of 2:2 or higher in one of the following subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design & Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Physics
  • Welsh

Santhi Dosanjh teaches biology through the medium of Welsh at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur. She has found teaching to be a rewarding career and enjoys supporting secondary school pupils as they make decisions for their future. Speaking about why she enjoys teaching, she said:

“I think that age group really needs someone to guide them through. I remember when I was in school, I needed someone to guide me through, not just what career I was going into or directing me into certain subjects, but life skills.

“Don’t overthink it, it’s the type of job where you’re constantly learning and developing. If you are a science student and you want a rewarding career, you should consider teaching. Every day is different and every day you could be the one positive thing that child needs that day.”

Andrew Evans teaches physics through the medium of Welsh at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd. After studying at university in England, he worked as a surveyor for three years before making the change. He took lessons to improve his written Welsh and found his standard of Welsh improved very quickly.

Speaking about why he chose to teach in Welsh, Andrew Evans said:

“Science is an international language. No matter where you are in the world, you’re dealing with the same laws and problems. Welsh, just like any other language, gives you that opening to study this subject.

“I was inspired to become a physics teacher because it was my favourite subject at school. I also had a good teacher, he inspired me. When I became a teacher, there was only one choice of subject.

“I’m very passionate about teaching physics. As I keep telling my students, physics explains everything, the whole universe, from the very smallest atoms.

“As long as you enjoy working with people, then it’s a very rewarding profession.”

More information is available here for people who are thinking about starting their teaching career.

Qualified teachers in Wales have starting salary of over £30,000 and applications for all three incentives are open now. ITE Partnerships have more information and support on eligibility for these incentives, prospective students should contact them.