- Datalab Education report commissioned by the Gatsby Foundation, indicates paying early-career science and maths teachers a 5% salary supplement would eliminate the teacher shortage for these subjects in English Secondary schools.
- Institute of Fiscal Studies report: physics teachers leave the teaching profession to a greater extent than teachers of other subjects – policy focused on retention rather than training would be the most cost effective.
Gatsby has today released two reports suggesting that an education policy with a distinct focus on retention would be more cost effective than current Government policy focusing on the recruitment and training of new teachers.
The first Gatsby commissioned report, by Education Datalab, shows that shortages of secondary maths and science teachers could have been eliminated with a modest 5% salary supplement during the initial five years of their careers.
The report, authored by Sam Sims, used a data simulation to measure what the impact of a 5% pay increase for early years maths and science teachers in England would have been, had it been introduced as policy in 2010. The report reveals such a policy would have:
- Eliminated the shortage of science teachers experienced since 2010
- Eliminated the maths teacher deficit by 2014
- Increased retention and therefore increased the number of experienced teachers
For many years English Secondary schools have had difficulty recruiting teachers across maths, science, modern languages and computer science. This is further compounded by increasing numbers leaving the profession, leading to an increasing teacher shortage. Whilst there are many reasons teachers leave the classroom, the pay differential between graduate roles available in teaching and those in non-teaching roles in the private sector could explain low retention of maths and science teachers in the early stages of their career.
The second report produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and funded by Gatsby, suggests the issue is even more pronounced with physics teacher retention. Just 3% of physics graduates enter teaching within the first few years of graduation, comparted to 12% of maths graduates. 40% of physics graduates who teach immediately after graduation leave the profession within three-and-a-half years.
At present, with a high staff turnover and low recruitment of maths and science teachers, state schools, particularly in economically-deprived areas, are finding themselves having to rely on inexperienced staff.
To read and download the reports, please click here