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PM outlines 'new way of teaching'

David Cameron has declared it "absolutely vital" to the country's success that maths, science and computing are taught in the "modern way".

The Prime Minister was hosting a digital event at Downing Street to mark the start of a campaign to encourage people to learn computer coding skills - and said children as young as five or six will be taught how to code.

Around 15,000 teachers will be sent back to the classroom for retraining under the £67 million 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.

After meeting with children who were having a unique Monday morning out of the classroom, Mr Cameron said: "This set of skills and this new way of teaching is for everyone.

"I want everyone in our country to have this opportunity because the truth is one of the things that will determine whether a country is successful or not in the future is whether you teach maths and science, and crucially, computing, in the right and the modern way."

He said teachers will be teaching children in primary school how to code and said "that's good for every child and every school in the country".

He added: "We're putting in place the resources and the training and making sure that every school can do this.

"It will take time but it's absolutely vital for the success of our country that we teach maths and science and computing in the modern way, because that will be one of the things that will determine whether we succeed or not."

The Prime Minister has pledged to "lift our children's horizons and pull our country up in the world" through the major drive to boost British brainpower in the subjects.

Earlier, 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.

"So today, we commit to deliver more maths and science teachers.

"This is all part of our long-term economic plan for Britain - making sure our children have the skills they need to thrive and get on. And by sticking to it, we will lift our children's horizons and pull our country up in the world."

Under the plans, specialist training will be given to existing teachers to enhance the way they teach the maths and science, including contact with industry to ensure they are up to speed on the latest developments.

A further 2,500 teachers will be recruited over the course of the next Parliament on top of existing plans.

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% 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 7% more by the time they reach 30, according to the Government.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said: "For three years in a row, David Cameron's government has missed its own teacher recruitment targets, creating a crisis situation.

"Shortfalls in the recruitment of maths and physics teachers are especially concerning.

"Combine this with David Cameron's policy of allowing unqualified teachers into the classroom and we have a very troubling picture. School standards and children's life chances will suffer as a result.

"Labour's ambition is clear: a world class teacher in every classroom. That is our priority and only a Labour government will deliver on teacher quality."

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