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.

The shortage of specialist physics teachers in the classroom continues to be a significant concern.

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.

We have a long legacy of supporting science in secondary schools and colleges; from piloting new approaches to teacher recruitment and professional development, to supporting initiatives which encourage innovation and engaging practical activity in science lessons and STEM clubs.


Our work with physics teachers

Over the last fifteen years Gatsby has undertaken a substantial programme of work designed to recruit and retain high-quality physics teachers. 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.

Two of our most recent reports looks at science teacher recruitment in schools between 2016 and 2018. These reports suggest that there are substantial inequalities in the school system, with certain types of schools much more likely to seek to recruit specialist teachers than others.

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.