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Education and outreach

Government must take action to meet physics teacher recruitment challenge, says IOP head

8 July 2022

Chief executive of the IOP responds to survey of UK head teachers which found nearly all of them are struggling to fill classroom vacancies.

Commenting today on the publication of a survey of school heads by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which has found that 95% of them have problems hiring staff, with the recruitment of physics teachers a particular concern, Institute of Physics (IOP) group chief executive, Tom Grinyer, said: “It is no surprise schools are struggling to recruit physics teachers – this is a longstanding problem and has resulted in a chronic shortage in schools.

“We want to see every student, from every background, having access to a high-quality, in-field teacher of physics so they can take advantage of the huge range of opportunities and careers unlocked by studying physics, as well as providing much-needed skills in our economy.

“The IOP is leading calls on the government to address this shortage of physics teachers through a systematic and fully-funded approach to retraining and professional learning to reduce attrition.

“If we take concerted action it is possible to solve this challenge and provide fair access to a quality physics education to all. This must be a priority for the new Secretary of State for Education.”

Read the full report from the ASCL.