Physics teacher supply
The ups and downs of entering a teaching specialism which is in shortage
Although there are signs that the number of new physics teachers is on the increase and there are many initiatives to increase recruitment, the sad fact remains that there is a chronic shortage of physics specialists. On average, school science departments have just 1.6 physics teachers and so it is not unusual for there to be a single physics specialist - and you may find that you are it!
For some people, this may be exciting or even empowering; for others, it may be a lonely prospect. It will undoubtedly increase your workload. But this does not need to be a deal-breaker and there is plenty of support available to you. Ensure your potential employer is fully aware that this needs addressing with training/extra non-contact time and also to invest in good quality resources if the school does not currently have any. Request a clear CPD programme or a mentor from a neighbouring school.
A former physics teacher in Wales commented: “I think you can cope with GCSE as the only NQT physicist in a school - after all that is the bread and butter side. A-level is probably pushing it too far. A chap with a PhD took over from me as a lone physicist who was an NQT and he really, really struggled.”