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Initial teacher education update 7 March 2017

The IOP organises annual meetings for tutors and policy makers in secondary initial teacher education (ITE). Below is an overview of what was covered in the meeting on 7 March 2017.

Welcome remarks – Chris Shepherd (IOP)

IOP Update – Nicole Averiss (IOP):

Nicole Averiss illustrated how the IOP’s marketing team can support Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in recruiting students. She also provided an update on the Teacher Training Scholarships, the engineering campaign and university campus events. 

Chris Shepherd provided an update on the IOP’s Diagnostic Questions project, which will eventually produce a tool allow teachers/teacher educators to gauge subject knowledge.

See Nicole’s presentation slides (PPT, 5.4MB)

Recruitment Analysis – Mark Crowley (Nottingham Trent University):

Mark Crowley considered data from UCAS applications and Department for Education (DfE) recruitment data to provide a review of targets set through the teacher supply model and a review of recruitment through the ITT census. He also used data collected from Freedom of Information requests to consider the role of Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses (SKEs), including an insight into some interesting finds about other providers and their use of SKEs. 

See Mark’s presentation (PDF, 1.5MB)

Isaac Physics – Ally Davies (Isaac Physics):

Ally Davies presented on the DfE-funded project that provides a free online marking service to teachers allowing for less time marking and more time giving feedback. The benefits of Isaac Physics also include allowing teachers to spot common mistakes and provide timely intervention. 

See Ally’s presentation (PDF, 212KB)

Ally also offered help to ITE providers with respect to misconceptions (see below for further details). If you are interested in the offer for the next academic year, please contact Ally on [email protected] (ideally by May 2017).

Isaac Physics for trainee teachers:

• 1-2 visits to cohort
• Cohort is set online questions via
• Few online sessions (via Google Hangouts) to work with cohort in small groups (essentially using online and face to face support)
• Ally to carry out some measurement of impact

Handling misconceptions in physics – Chris Shepherd (IOP):

Chris Shepherd chaired a roundtable discussion on how providers address trainees’ perceptions of pupil misconceptions in physics.

NCTL Update – Paul Steele (NCTL):

Paul Steele asked for HEIs’ input on topics including how NQTs can be encouraged to come to teacher recruitment events

Teacher retention – Andy Chandler-Grevatt (University of Sussex):

Andy Chandler-Grevatt led a discussion on how support is provided to teachers in their NQT year and beyond. He spoke on the training and conferences provided to trainees, as well as the importance of maintaining ongoing relationships with NQTs.

Impact of SKE funding cap on recruitment in Physics ITE – Caro Garrett (University of Southampton):

Caro Garrett chaired a discussion on how the recent funding cap on SKE funding has impacted recruitment for the 2017-18 cohort.

ITE position on government’s proposal to increase number of grammar schools – Helen Gourlay (Brunel University):

Helen Gourlay presented on the recent proposal by the government to increase the number of grammar schools. She particularly asked for insights into how diversity of schools currently affects HEIs and their trainees. 

See Helen’s presentation (PDF, 339KB)


James De Winter gave an update on the data collected on his presentation at last year’s meeting considering a core, prescribed content for all physics ITE. The collected data can be found at