100 new scholarships a year to raise standards by attracting top graduates to become physics teachers
– Government publishes implementation plan for teacher training strategy to train the next generation of outstanding teachers –
Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced a £2m-a-year partnership between the Department for Education and the Institute of Physics (IOP) to attract the best graduates to become physics teachers. It re-affirms the Government’s commitment to recruit the very best graduates into teaching and train them even better, so that standards can rise in schools across the country.
Around 100 scholarships worth £20,000 each will be available every year for graduates with a 2:1 or first class degree who are intending to do a mainstream physics, or physics with maths, Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course.
The IOP will work with experts in teaching practice to award scholarships. They will hand-pick candidates demonstrating exceptional subject knowledge, enthusiasm for the study of physics, and outstanding potential to teach. The IOP’s relationship with the scholars will continue into their teaching careers. This will develop a group of outstanding physics teachers, all part of a community of physicists across schools, universities and industry.
IOP research shows that around 1,000 new specialist physics teachers in England are needed every year for the next 15 years to plug the gap so that the subject is taught by specialist teachers. Last year around 275 fewer trainees were recruited to physics initial teacher training courses than were needed.
The scholarship comes as part of the Government’s implementation plan for its ITT Strategy, Training our next generation of outstanding teachers. The implementation plan is published today.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said:
"If we want to have an education system that ranks with the best in the world, we must attract outstanding people into the profession, and we must give them outstanding training.
"The scholarship scheme launched with the Institute of Physics will help make sure we have excellent physics teachers in this country with deep subject knowledge. They will help raise the status of the teaching profession and also make a huge difference in the lives of children.”
Professor Peter Main, Director of Education and Science at the Institute of Physics, said:
"These scholarships will help the Institute realise its aims of welcoming a greater number of physics teachers into the broader community of physicists and of increasing the spread of subject expertise in education. They will help us to develop excellent teachers from excellent graduates. We are saying to people with a love of physics and a good academic record – ‘choose teaching: it is a job that will reward you and exploit your abilities to the full’.”
Renowned physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili said:
"Being a research physicist and a well-known physics broadcaster and author is all well and good but the really valuable work needed to inspire future generations of physicists is done by physics teachers in the classroom.
"Every day teachers are communicating the beauty of the subject and the satisfaction that an understanding of physics can give you. So becoming a teacher is both a great opportunity for people to share their passion for the subject and means playing a vital role in giving the whole population a good grounding in the subject. And, as with any communication role, it is a fascinating and enjoyable way to spend your time.”
The IOP will begin recruitment for the scholarships from today.
Ministers aim to expand the model physics scholarships to other specialist subjects from 2013/14 onwards. It is hoped other organisations will come forward who are interested in attracting and selecting trainees for the award of outstanding teacher training scholarships.
New teacher training strategy
The Government’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Strategy Implementation Plan, published today, re-affirms the Government’s commitment to recruiting the very best into teaching and a greater role for schools in training.
The proposals cover:
- Encouraging more primary specialist teachers to be trained
- Offering graduates with first-class degrees in physics, chemistry, maths and modern foreign languages significantly better financial incentives to train as teachers
- Requiring all trainees to have high standards of mathematics and English by requiring trainees to pass a tougher literacy and numeracy tests before they start training
- Allowing and encouraging schools to lead their own high-quality initial teacher training
- Giving schools a stronger influence over the content of ITT training as well as the recruitment and selection of trainees
- Continuing to ensure that ITT provision focuses on the quality of placements and selection