IOP Institute of Physics

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Marketing physics School Direct places

School Direct teacher training puts schools in full control of the recruitment and development of trainee teachers.

As this is a new initiative it’s unlikely that the majority of school staff will have had any prior involvement with the marketing and recruitment of trainee physics teachers.

To help make the recruitment process easier, we’ve pulled together some marketing advice and suggestions for advertising your School Direct places. Once you’ve read the general advice below, download the full School Direct Marketing Action Plan which is packed with ideas for you to try out.

Marketing channels

Your website is one of the main places prospective applicants will look for information about your school, so make sure all of your contact details, event information and performance data are up to date. Ensure the information you provide about your school will make candidates want to come and work with you.

The proliferation of social media in recent years means that we can connect with more people than ever before. If used correctly, channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are cost-effective ways of communicating with prospective teachers.

Hosting events at your school and within your community are the best way to showcase your school and facilities. Hold an open day and run demonstrations in your physics department to provide an insight into life in the classroom.

Keep your local press informed. Invite them to your open days or ask them to run an article about your School Direct training programme.

Key messages for your marketing

The shortage of physics teachers means there are large financial incentives on offer to draw prospective teachers into the classroom. Whenever you are promoting your School Direct (non-salaried) places, it’s crucial to mention applicants could be entitled to a bursary of up to £20,000 tax-free, plus a loan to help towards tuition fees.

Establish your USPs (Unique Selling Points) and use these on your website and in your marketing so that prospective teachers can see why they should choose to train with you. Think about your benefits and achievements and consider what would make a candidate choose to train to teach physics at your school compared to another school?

Selection and interview

When interviewing prospective teachers, bear in mind that you are not recruiting people who already have the ability to teach a physics lesson from day one. Remember that School Direct is a training programme designed to develop a someone's ability to become a great teacher. Look at the potential of your candidates and consider whether or not they have the ability to become inspirational physics teachers once they’ve completed the training. Don’t turn them away on the basis that they are not ready to teach physics to a class of 30 on their very first day!

If you discover upon interview that a candidate is not suitable for your physics School Direct programme but you think they have potential to become a good teacher, encourage them to apply for the PGCE teacher training route or a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. To ensure the supply of physics teachers in England, it’s important to nurture every candidate’s interest in teaching physics and point them in the right direction so that they receive the most suitable training.

Download the full School Direct Marketing Action Plan (PDF, 380 KB)

If you have any questions please email and we’ll do our best to help.

Additional tips and advice for School Direct marketing can be found on the National College for Teaching and Leadership website.  


We’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried any of our suggested marketing activities, or if you have any ideas of your own. Send your feedback to