The troubled pilot scheme, which offers successful schools financial rewards to train returnee teachers to the profession, has failed to train a high number in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

An investigation by Schools Week has shown that of the 428 returnee teachers who were trained in the scheme last year, only a relatively small number trained in STEM subjects. 69 qualified as science teachers, spread over general science, biology, physics and chemistry. 27 trained in computer science, whilst 53 qualified as maths teachers.

The scheme has struggled to be adopted by schools. Out of the 53 lead schools in the pilot, only three fully trained 20 or more returnee teachers- despite funding being made available for up to 40 teachers in each school to be trained.

The programme, which was introduced by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) offered participating schools, £1900 for each teach trained in the scheme.

Of the 644 participating schools, none managed to fill the government’s maximum of 40 trained returnee teachers using the scheme.

The figures are a disappointing show for the government, which has placed renewed emphasis on the STEM fields, as recent educational rankings showed that UK pupils struggled in STEM subjects at school.

The government has announced a second pilot scheme solely focusing on maths, physics and foreign languages, beginning in February this year. It will be restricted to the north west and south east, rather than across England, as had been the case in the first pilot.

Schools will be offered £2,500 to re-train teachers in those subjects.

In the south east only, they will also be offered “up to £1,500” in addition if teachers are returned on a part-time or flexible basis after experts said such working arrangements could encourage more qualified teachers back into the profession.