Government commits to recruit physics teachers

8 December 2014

The Institute of Physics has welcomed news from 10 Downing Street, announced this morning (8 December), that the government has committed to training an additional 17,500 new maths and physics teachers over the next five years.

teacher

The scheme will include a programme to offer school leavers a bursary to help pay for university, in return for a commitment to become a teacher when they graduate with a maths or physics degree.

IOP president Frances Saunders said: "We want to make access to high quality physics education open to all and this is only possible with investment and effort to recruit and retain a greater number of specialist physics teachers over the long term.

"Today's announcement from the prime minister complements successful work already being done via our own programmes. Our national Stimulating Physics Network helps science teachers teach physics more effectively and inspirationally, and our successful scholarships programme incentivises graduates of physics, maths and engineering to join the physics teaching profession.

“There does, however, need to be a step-change in the number of physics teachers recruited. In order to ensure that every secondary school student in the UK is taught physics by an appropriately qualified and confident teacher, we need to be recruiting 400 more physics teachers annually, up from approximately 600 to 1,000 new physics teachers every year.

"It will take time to see whether incentives like that announced today have the desired effect over the long term but we are delighted that the prime minister has put this issue so high on his agenda."