The TDA is attributing the increased interest in these subjects to the new tax-free bursaries of up to £20k which are available for high-flying physics and chemistry graduates entering teacher training and the special scholarships available for physics trainees from the Institute of Physics.
Last year’s entrants were also the best ever, with the highest proportion of graduates who had 2:1 degree classifications and above, on record. 62 per cent of entrants to university-based training had a 2:1 or better. The number of pupils taking single science GCSEs and A Levels is finally on the rise, which means there’s increased demand for new talent for our classrooms. However, teacher training places are filling up more quickly than last year, with overall acceptances to courses up 11 per cent on last year.
Daniel Alison, who switched into teaching from his job in forensics for the Met Police four years ago, co-ordinates Key Stage 4 (GCSE) science at Fulston Manor School, Kent said:
“When I was a new teacher, I was offered dedicated time and personal support to help me develop and as a result, I’ve progressed quickly. I would recommend the profession to any ambitious scientists out there who would like to enjoy the autonomy, variety and impact the profession allows.”
Stephen Hillier, chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said:
“Teaching is increasingly a career for the most able graduates. With new teachers rating their training as very good preparation for the classroom and big tax-free bursaries and scholarships available for top graduates wanting to teach priority subjects, like physics and chemistry, there has never been a better time to teach.”
Anyone interested in putting their physics and chemistry skills into practice in the classroom should visit www.teach.gov.uk/traintoteach to find out more or to pre-register for a Train to Teach event.