Cameron’s plan to ‘lift children’s horizons’

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David Cameron has pledged to “lift our children’s horizons and pull our country up in the world” through a major drive to boost British brainpower in mathematics, science and technology.

Around 15,000 teachers will be sent back to the classroom for retraining under the £67m initiative to raise school standards in the subjects.

School leavers will be offered a substantial amount of cash towards university costs in return for becoming a teacher once they graduate in maths or physics.

A national college for digital skills will also be set up in London next year with outposts then expected across the country.

The Prime Minister is hosting a digital event at Downing Street to mark the start of a campaign to encourage people to learn computer coding skills.

He said: “There’s no secret to success in the modern world. If countries are going to win in the global race and children compete and get the best jobs, you need mathematicians and scientists – pure and simple.”

Top A-level students will be offered a bursary to help pay for maths and physics degrees if they agree to a career in the classroom. Details of the scheme, which is expected to be ready for pupils applying to go to university next year, have yet to be finalised but could mean students receive around 75 per cent of their course fees, as well as some living costs, in return for a teaching commitment of between five and seven years.

Around 5,000 students are expected to pass through the doors of the planned new specialist digital college, which has backing from a range of international companies including Deloitte, Henderson Global Investors and IBM.

Children with high maths scores at the age of 10 earn seven per cent more by the time they reach 30, according to the Government.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said the government has missed its own teacher recruitment targets, creating a crisis situation.