The initiative, known as Now Teach, is seeking city professionals in their fifties based in London to retrain as teachers of science, maths and languages in the city's schools.
The idea comes courtesy of financial journalist Lucy Kellaway, with backing from education charity Ark. Now Teach has already signed up 20 would-be teachers to commence training next September.
Kellaway, who herself has left the Financial Times to become a maths teacher, aims to offer more rewarding career pathways for financial employees who have become disillusioned with working in the corporate world.
“It’s so obvious to me that at about 50, there’s this real problem for people in professional careers, because they’re either fired because they’re too expensive, or they’re completely fed up,” said Kellaway.
“Lots of them want to do something useful.”
However, Kellaway is wary of the fact the prospect of high levels of stress and comparatively low pay may not appeal to everyone working in the city.
“Yes it’s going to be unbearably hard work, but then… other jobs are very tiring too in different sorts of ways and I think a lot of the people used to doing professional jobs are used to a fantastic amount of stress,” she said.
“I would hope that people who have worked for a couple of decades know how to manage their time better. I certainly manage my time miles better than when I was 22.”
According to Michael Clark, Ark's deputy chief executive, Now Teach will provide a much-needed boost to teacher numbers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects.
“We are consistently under-recruiting trainee teachers with STEM skills and [Now Teach] offers a completely new group of people who have this expertise as well as a huge wealth of management experience and life experience which will be valuable for our pupils,” Clark said.
An innovative new project in the UK is aiming to transfer the knowledge and experience of city financial workers of a certain age to the classroom.