Our local intelligence alerts us to the significant shortfall of specialist Physics teachers in the area. This includes a high annual drop out of qualified physics teachers, often after only a year or two in the profession, so although the numbers qualifying in physics have increased, the numbers leaving have also increased. There has been a long-standing significant deficit of at least 150 teachers of science with a physics shortage making up the majority of that (according to one local supply agency). Although teachers of other specialisms are in slightly greater availability, teachers and Head Teachers report that they lack the confidence to teach and often outcomes are below an acceptable standard. A sample of adverts in the TES indicated some of the most disadvantaged schools struggling to recruit physics teachers and some schools report that their ability to teach Triple Science is hampered by a lack of capacity. The single highest demand for training in science at the science learning partnerships for secondary schools is subject knowledge enhancement or pedagogy in physics. Our substantial networks connected with the Science Learning Partnership also report issues in recruiting, and moreover schools tend to recruit from one another. This leaves vacancies in a neighbouring schools, which are often filled with non-specialist supply staff. This is often worst for schools the lowest performance.
The programme will run in one of two formats across 5 different geographic clusters.
8 face-to-face instances (two full days and six 4-hour extended twilights sessions) over three terms, 6 face-to-face full days over two terms. Content includes all key topics at KS3/4, including:
- Waves & Radiation
Programmes will include significant gap-tasks, to encourage participant reflection.
Programmes include blended learning, access to online compulsory and additional voluntary tasks and information.
The total amount of learning time is approx. 60-65 hours
The delivery team is overseen by a STEM Learning Senior Facilitator and facilitators are either IoP consultants or trained via STEM Learning in delivering CPD using the Facilitator Development Programme. New facilitators are expected to shadow experienced facilitators for some time. Our participants submit a portfolio of evidence as part of the programme, which includes an application to the externally accredited STEM Educators award scheme (free) offered by STEM Learning.