bet365 wants more maths teachers in Stoke

The local council and bookmaker Bet365 have teamed up to launch a £1m scheme aimed at attracting more maths teachers to Stoke.

Denise Coates, Bet365
Denise Coates, Bet365

The initiative will see the money go towards paying off the tuition fees of those graduates that opt in and become maths teachers in Stoke. They’ll also be given relocation payments.

The details of this scheme, which is half funded by the city council and half by the charitable body of Bet365, is that recruits will be offered £2,000 per year for three years and a further relocation payment of £2,000.

The scheme aims to to get 70% of pupils achieving an A*-C at GCSE maths in the next three years, it’s currently at 59%. Bet365 has a strong bond with Stoke, the city in which it’s been based since its launch at the turn of the millennium. It’s since become the largest private employer in Stoke.

Denise Coates, Co-CEO at Bet365, said of the scheme: “Succeeding in maths education is vital for the future prospects of our young people. Maths skills are crucial for economic success and they have never been in such demand from employers.”

She added: “The partnership is a really exciting venture, based on schools, colleges and higher education institutions across the city agreeing to work together to support one another to raise maths education outcomes for the young people of Stoke.”

Roisin Maguire, Principal of St Joseph’s College, where the initiative will be launched on Wednesday, said: “The reason that we’ve invited Michael Wilshaw is that he always names and shames Stoke-on-Trent and we want to demonstrate to him that there are actually some really good things happening.”

Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector for Schools, has singled Stoke out in the past for its poor maths results.

Maguire continued: “Denise Coates herself, at Bet365, will tell you that she struggles to attract really good mathematicians and that’s what she needs in her company. And, in a sense, she’s buying into it because she knows that’s what the company needs.”

(This story appeared in The Guardian on Monday February 23rd)

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