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Teacher Shortage - Secondary Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by Thirtysomething, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. How much of a shortage of Secondary Science teachers is there?

    I am currently considering doing a PGCE in Secondary Science with a specialism in Physics. Do you have a shortage of such teachers in your school or are you finding that the current encouragements for new teachers in this area are beginning to show?

    My dh is concerned as he keeps hearing about newly qualified teachers or NQTs with no jobs, although this does appear to be mainly in the Primary sector.

    I am going to look at vacancies and TES etc but just wondered what your own eperiences were.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. How much of a shortage of Secondary Science teachers is there?

    I am currently considering doing a PGCE in Secondary Science with a specialism in Physics. Do you have a shortage of such teachers in your school or are you finding that the current encouragements for new teachers in this area are beginning to show?

    My dh is concerned as he keeps hearing about newly qualified teachers or NQTs with no jobs, although this does appear to be mainly in the Primary sector.

    I am going to look at vacancies and TES etc but just wondered what your own eperiences were.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  3. There is definitely a shortage... of good science teachers. I have interviewed nearly 15 over the past 3 months and have only today managed to get a full department for next year.
     
  4. swebby

    Can I very cheekily ask you want you consider to be a "good" science teacher?
     
  5. It depends... my dept interviewed 7 main scale teachers today, and most of them seemed to be pretty strong candidates. They had 20 applications apparently, and it was hard work whittling them down to 7 (normally it would be 6).

    On the other hand, there wasn't a physicist among them, and there were more Biologists and Biochemists than Chemists. So, as usual, if you're a Chemist or a Physicist you have a slight advantage. And Psychologists are like gold dust.
     
  6. No doubt what is good will differ from school to school as environments are different.
    For me, it is someone who has a presence in the classroom, who can bring an interest of science to the students. Someone who is a team player; is willing to work hard and not be afraid of constructive criticism.
    I could go on, but I am sure like most others who interview you tend to have a 'gut' instinct about whether someone will fit in or not when you see them teach or as the cliche goes 10 seconds after you meet them.
     
  7. Specialise in physics and you won't be without a job for sure. On my PGCE course every physics student has got a job already - they are the first to get snapped up. We chemists are getting there and that will leave the biologists (who make up two thirds of the course) to fight it out between themselves til the summer. But even most of those will get jobs, and this is in the NW where there is a supposed job shortage.
     
  8. If you are a physicist you can pick and choose your jobs. I have just taken a new job and left my physics dept with one full time physicist in a facualty of 24 teaching staff! Physicists are worth more than diamonds (I'm biased) and if you want to go all the way in teaching it will help you to be a scientist (not a biologist though!)
     
  9. There is a major shortage of Physics specialists going into teaching.
    There is going to be a demand for Physics teachers for decades to come, as a good proportion of current Physics teachers will retire in the next ten years. They are not recruiting enough to fill the number that leave.

    So its pretty promising for those starting out looking for a job in Physics teaching.
     
  10. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    In my current school we have 14 teachers and a GTP student who is a biologist. We have 7 biologists, 5 physicists (1 doesn't teach A-level) and 2 chemists. One of the chemists is leaving and the replacement is a biochemist who will be expected to teach A-level.

    I really think that the government should stop considering biology a shortage and just consider chemistry and physics to be the shortage areas. Whilst I am sure that biochemists can teach A-level chem I do think it is important to have teachers who have studied the subject at degree level to some extent. My final year subject was pharmaoology but I did study chemistry for two years and I would struggle with A-level if I didn't have that experience of uni chemistry particuarly the practical work.

    If schools are struggling to recruit chemists and physicists it will have an impact on the numbers studying these subjects at university and it will be come a vicous circle.
     
  11. There is much myth, "budgetism", hypocrisy, lies, stupidity and complete utter nonsense in secondary schools about staffing...

    You only have to consider the "WORKLOAD AGREEMENT" fiasco to realise that some secondary schools are using UNQUALIFIED staff e.g. cover assistants, TAs, LSAs, HLSAs etc to "TEACH" specialist science in our secondary schools!

    All for what - to cut the staffing bill!

    This is actually going on without parental knowledge. Pupils and teaching staff are being completely hoodwinked and there will soon be repercussions...

    Qualified teaching staff (on contracts) must not allow this de-skilling, devaluing and professional undermining to go on any longer...

    So what are the ACTUAL statistics on science teacher shortages when such disingenuous activity is going on?

    We've also had the NQT vs the non-NQT unfairness as well...(all because of cutting staffing costs)!

    And what did Gordon Brown say about more money for science teaching? And is this honestly filtering down to secondary schools?

    Regards to all fellow science teachers,

    Quietgenius (very frustrated...truly...)
     
  12. There is a shortage of Science teachers, but it does seem to be a very patchy picture with some areas having more demand than others.
     
  13. Are you serious - have you looked at this weeks jobs section - five parts and there are nearly 40 pages of science jobs - plus if you are a physics graduate and you show enough promise you'll probably find a school that will train you the GTP way and you'll start earning straight off.
     
  14. The fall in physics A-level numbers will guarantee insufficient physicists for a number of years to come irrespective of efforts to raise numbers.
    Most of my A-level students go into computing rather than physics, and a number of physics ITT students have also gone into computing rather than stay in the profession.
    I don't think it's me, honest!

    Anyone have the figures on the number of physics, chemistry and biology ITT this year nationally?
     
  15. silver2: I've lost count of the number of schools I've tried to get a Chemistry GTP with. I have my first degree in Applied Chemistry and my MPhil was in applied theoretical physical chemistry yet can't find anywhere!
     
  16. The Devonshire Royal Comission reported prolems of a lack of science teachers back in '74. Not much has changed in the intervening years.














    Oh I forgot, that is 18(eighteen)74!

     
  17. I was told a few year ago, by a science teacher, that there is a major shortage of science teachers with Earth science backgrounds. Is this the case in anyone's experience?
     
  18. If you can do any other career apart from teaching then do it. Don't go into teaching because you think there might be job security. With a physics degree you should be able to do other careers.

    You want to teach for teaching's sake - then go for it. There is a reason why they are so short of physics teachers with a physics background. That's because physics graduates can do something else for less hassle and more money.

     
  19. As a Physics Teacher for the last 16 years in a grammar school (NW) plently of jobs , but treated like sh**te, hopefully will leave this country and get a job with my experience stuff the rest of you
     
  20. Thanks for all the responses.

    I spent 10 years in the Electronics Industry as an Engineer (Development and then Quality). I ended up with an ok salary but hating it. My career progression stopped when I decided to have kids (being a female Engineer was rare but a mother!! un-heard of!)

    I have always tended towards teaching, even as an Engineer I ended up being the one asked to show the newbies the ropes because I was good at getting stuff across to anyone - unlike most of my department who struggled to manage a "Hello" unless it was via e-mail!
     

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