Our latest report outlines eight straightforward interventions secondary schools can use to improve their recruitment and retainment of high-quality science teachers. With the shortage of specialist physics and chemistry teachers continuing to grow, the eight cost-effective and low-risk interventions aim to provide school leaders with a means of taking immediate action to tackle specialist subject recruitment and retention challenges.
Based on a thorough review of existing research, the eight principles cover a range of areas including; teacher deployment, development and pay, and management, with suggestions for implementation and supportive references provided.
Sam Sims, researcher and author of the paper, said: “Given the shortages faced by science departments up and down the country, the principles outlined are not only timely, but much needed. England has a severe shortage of teachers, particularly in science, and this is only set to worsen with the secondary-age school population forecast to grow by 19% in the decade to 2026. Despite various initiatives, for the past three years we have seen a worrying decline in the number of physics and chemistry trainees. This paper provides school leaders with research-backed, pragmatic solutions to the current retention and recruitment challenges faced by science departments.”
Sir John Holman, Senior Adviser to Gatsby, and President of The Association for Science Education (ASE), said: ‘It is vital we have enough teachers to ensure a robust science education for all, irrespective of background or economic circumstance. The recently announced Government strategy to bolster the recruitment and retention of teachers presented clear and coherent initiatives which will not only attract teachers to the profession but retain those that we have – but these will take time to implement. The principles in Gatsby’s latest report provide school leaders with steps they can take in the meantime to bolster science teacher numbers.”
To read the full report, Increasing the quantity and quality of science teachers in schools: eight evidence-based principles, click here.
To read more about Gatsby’s Teacher Recruitment, Retention and Development programme, please click here.