Teacher recruitment, retention and development

Gatsby recognises that to achieve our ambitions regarding the supply of STEM skills to the UK workforce, we must ensure that young people are taught by well-qualified and motivated specialists.

Infographic showing the increased need for Physics teachers over time but reduced number of Physics graduates going into teaching
Infographic showing one in three Physics graduates need to be recruited into teaching to reach the target
Infographic showing Physics graduates earn far less in teaching than in non-teaching careers. This ‘pay cut’ is larger than in any other subject.
Infographic showing salary supplements could be an effective way to solve teacher shortages.
Infographic showing that during the pandemic, there was a huge 16% rise on average in trainee teachers. But only a 6% rise in trainee physics teachers.

The number of Physics teachers needed is increasing over time but the number of Physics graduates going into teaching is not. 

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School science is important in its own right, but it also acts as a gateway to a wide range of STEM careers, including engineering. Limiting the number of pupils taking science qualifications at school will reduce the level of STEM skills in the UK, causing both skills shortages and a negative effect on the economy.

Specialist science teachers are a powerful predictor of pupil achievement and progression to further study. To ensure that pupils have access to a high-quality secondary science education regardless of location or socio-economic status there needs to be a sufficient supply of high-quality, experienced specialist teachers.

Over the last twenty years, Gatsby has undertaken a substantial programme of work designed to recruit and retain high-quality physics teachers. See below for further information about our areas of study.



Initial Teacher Education

Our work has included piloting subject knowledge enhancement courses for those entering initial teacher education and for serving teachers; designing mentoring programmes to support newly qualified teachers; supporting teacher training institutions with their marketing programmes and creating innovative routes into teacher training for those with non-traditional backgrounds.

In October 2021, we published a body of essays from a range of authors with experience and expertise in initial teacher education to inform the current debate about its future. Click here to learn more:

Article: ITT Reform: more reflection needed

The role of salary in teacher retention

Our evidence shows that pay policy is an important lever in the recruitment and retention of teachers.

In 2018 we published two reports focusing on the role of salary in teacher retention. These reports suggested 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.

Click the link to learn more:

Increasing Pay of Early-career Shortage-subject Teachers Key to Averting Retention Crisis