The publication in August of the EPI report ‘The teacher labour market in England: shortages, subject expertise and incentives’ and in November the DFE report ‘Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Census for the academic year 2018 to 2019, England’ put into stark view the burgeoning issue of the lack of qualified teachers of Physics in our secondary schools. Put concisely:
- Less than 50% of those teaching physics have a physics qualification.
- Not enough students graduate with a physics degree or related subject to meet the current gaps and demand.
- This has been a developing problem since the eighties.
Physics Partners is striving to ameliorate this in schools and to develop a sustainable solution to the provision of good physics teaching in secondary schools. The impact of the work of the charity has been a major benefit to the teaching of Physics at all levels of the secondary school curriculum. It is highly unlikely that the 170+ schools in all parts of England that have received and are receiving support would have done so if Physics Partners had not been created. The benefit is both to the teachers in the schools receiving support and to the teachers acting in a training role who are gaining valuable professional development through taking on this role. Physics Partners with its single focus on supporting physics teaching and its freedom from externally criteria is really making a difference. There is no doubt that if Physics Partners ceased to exist its work is unlikely be taken on by others.