ITE Update 24 April 2018

The IOP organises annual meetings for tutors and policy makers in secondary ITE. The most recent meeting was held on Tuesday 24 April 2018. Below is an overview of what was covered on the day.


Welcome remarks – Chris Shepherd (IOP)


IOP Update – Nicole Averiss (IOP)

Nicole Averiss provided an update on the Physics Teacher Training Scholarships, the campaign to recruit more engineering graduates into physics teaching and university campus events, including Café Physics.

Nicole highlighted some ways the IOP can support ITE tutors, through the new IOP events website, twitter Q&As, webinars and IOP blogs.

See Nicole’s presentation


Future Physics Leaders (FPL) – Paul McDonald (IOP)

Paul outlined the work of FPL, a DfE-funded national education project providing a programme of support for NQTs and non-specialised teachers in priority areas.

The programme offers both mentoring and support for schools to offer matched timetables to NQTs, allowing them to focus on teaching their specialist subject. 

See Paul’s presentation.


Recruitment Analysis - Mark Crowley (Nottingham Trent University)

Mark Crowley considered data from UCAS applications and DfE recruitment data to provide a review of targets set through the teacher supply model and a review of recruitment through the ITT census.

Mark referenced the difficult recruitment year for physics trainees and compared the current position to the figures for biology and chemistry.

See Mark's presentation.


What makes a good physics teacher? – James de Winter (University of Cambridge)

James provided an update of his research looking at the attributes of good physics teachers. The research is looking at what characteristics are innate and which have been taught, together with what can be achieved in the training year.

See James’ presentation.


Ogden Trust – Teach Physics Internships – Charley Phillips (Ogden Trust)

Charley spoke about the Ogden Trust’s internship programme which aims to increase the number of physics graduates going into ITE. Over 300 interns have been recruited to the scheme in the last seven years.

Undergraduates in the 2nd or 3rd year of their physics degree undertake a five-week placement in a school with support and funding. The programme helps to gives students a holistic view of teaching as a career. Teachers who took part in the Teach Physics Internship programme can access the Trust’s Early Career Teacher Development Programme. 

See Charley’s presentation.


DfE Update – Lydia Watson (DfE STEM/MFL priority recruitment)

Lydia provided an update on the current ITT recruitment cycle and the DfE’s priorities around recruitment and retention.

The discussion covered the approach to advertising, the role of SKE courses and thinking around why this year’s recruitment figures were down on the previous year.

See Lydia’s presentation.


ASE Science Teacher SOS resources - Andy Chandler-Grevatt (University of Sussex)

Chris Shepherd spoke on behalf of Andy Chandler-Grevatt to highlight these resources which are designed to build resilience and support the development of a healthy work/life balance. The resources have successfully been used with trainees but could also be useful for NQTs.

Resources can he found here.


National Mathematics and Physics SCITT – Sarah Yarwood

Sarah outlined the approach of the National Mathematics and Physics SCITT, a unique collaboration between the state and independent sectors. The SCITT will only offer training in maths or physics to ensure sufficient subject knowledge and pedagogy content.

See Sarah’s presentation.


Developing Coaching Practice – Ian Horsewell (IOP)

Ian leads on professional development for physics coaching, aiming to share good practice through seminars and via TalkPhysics. He is working with school-based coaches who then go on to train other teachers. Some of these school based coaches have gone on to be chartered physicists. Ian wants to work with other partner organisations to build and share ideas.

See Ian’s presentation.


So you are good at physics, does that mean you can teach it? – Anna Holbrook (Bath Spa University)

Anna gave an update on this research project which is planned to look at both SKE candidates and IOP scholars to discover what qualities and characteristics they have and the impact this has on their early careers. As part of this qualitative research, she will be interviewing graduates, school-based mentors, science PGCE tutors and IOP representatives. The findings may lead to a longer piece of research or be used to inform recruitment and selection processes.

See Anna’s presentation.


Discussion topics

Chris Shepherd chaired a discussion on the high rejection rates for ITT candidates and whether ITE providers needed to review their standards. Concern was expressed that ITE tutors where having their professional judgement undermined in regards to the selection of the best candidates.

Physics with maths courses were discussed as a number of these courses had been closed down. School placements had been problematic in some instances with issues fitting in with both physics and maths timetables. Courses were perceived to be good but was difficult to cover physics, science and maths in the limited time available.



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