The so-called chairs of mathematics and physics will be post-graduates and are to be paid £40,000 a year. The Department for Education wants them to be working in schools by the autumn.
Education minister Liz Truss said: “The new chairs will provide masterclasses, online lesson demonstrations. They will help link the classroom to business and universities and complement other great programmes like stimulating physics and maths hubs.
“Recruitment is already underway and the first chairs will be in classrooms from this autumn. In due course we want to see hundreds recruited.”
A particular focus of the chairs’ work will be to increase post-16 participation among female students. Currently, only two per cent of girls taking A levels do physics and only eight per cent do maths.
Overall, while 150,000 students, male and female, study physics at GCSE, this falls to 32,000 at A level, including only 7,000 girls.
The chairs scheme is being sponsored by industry, with companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, BAE Systems and Samsung having already signed up.
The initiative is part of the newly launched Your Life campaign, which aims to boost participation across the STEM subjects both at school and in further and higher education. As part of Your Life, more than 170 businesses and institutions have offered more than 2,000 jobs and Apprenticeships, as well as pledging to do more to highlight the career opportunities open to STEM apprentices or graduates.
Among the pledges include £155,000 in fellowships and support for female scientists from L’Oreal, a pledge to create a three-year exhibition by the Science Museum to inspire young people to think about engineering, and a new employee volunteering web tool being launched by BP to encourage staff to engage with schools.
For details of the campaign, visit www.yourlife.org.uk