Recruiting sufficient physics teachers has been a longstanding problem. The subject is often taught by 'non-specialists’ usually qualified in chemistry or biology. Our motion graphic highlights the impact of innovative thinking and interventions in recent years up until 2012 and shows the decline in numbers since then.
Modelling by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Institute of Physics (IoP) suggests that we need to recruit around 1,000 new physics teachers every year for at least the next decade in order to meet demand. This year, just 661 teachers started physics teacher training, down from a peak of 900 in 2012. The stark reality is that, if we are to meet the demand for physics teachers and ensure that all pupils have access to well-qualified, specialist teachers, we must look at new ways to recruit, train and retain physics teachers.
Our motion graphic and PDF infographic highlights the impact of innovative thinking and interventions between 2003 and 2011. Whatever the reasons for the fall in numbers from 2012, partners across the sector need to work together to ensure that there are sufficient high-quality training options and that trainees who have the potential to become excellent teachers are not lost from the system.