1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Teacher Shortage - Secondary Science

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

  1. From what I can gather from friends in the business, it would seem that a good physicist at secondary level is about as rare as rocking horse sh*t. Us chemists (such an odd bunch :eek:P) are still in demand, although not to the degree of physicists, and biologists are probably the most common in schools. That's from a personal viewpoint...

    Incidentally, HoD (Physics) is resigning in a school near me in a dept which has one other physicist I think!!! Hmmm...methinks the internal candidate would have a good chance?!!!
  2. Wow, some great reading guys. :)

    I wonder if some of you can help me? I'm an engineering graduate/ female/ wife/ mother of two :)God that makes me sound old, I'm 25. I have been offered a fantastic job in industry but i just couldn't get excited about it so i turned it down and have applied to do my PGCE in Physics with science.

    I posted in the prospective student teachers section about 10 days ago but no one responded :(. I have my PGCE interview on Thursday in Swansea :) I may be asked to do an oral presentation..........I'm guessing I should prepare something :) anyone got any good ideas to knock their socks off. I have already met the course tutor and he seemed really nice :)

    Any advice greatly appreciated. :)

    Thanks, Susie..

  3. Be passionate about whay you want to teach. Read up about the changes coming to science with the new courses starting this yr and the changes coming in 2008 to post-16 and ks3
    good luck
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    There won't be a shortage of Chemistry teacher for much longer. Once the first batch of the new GCSE kids get to their exams there won't be any of them capapble of taking A level chemistry so there will be no need for chemistry teachers!
    The_Count likes this.
  5. Schanning

    Try and base a presentation around the branch of engineering you graduated in. Then link it to the syllabus with lots of real world applications of theory's - making it real world and relevant to the kids.

    Also remember it will be Physics literate people that help to solve the growing problems of, water shortage (Southern England), energy crisis and climate change.

    Have fun, I did it at 26 after being a Civil engineer haven't regretted it once.
  6. jcd


    As a PGCE Science trainee who is (hopefully) nearly a teacher now, I'd like to say a couple of things about this thread.

    I'm a biologist by training. From September, I'll be teaching Science in an 11 - 16 school. I'm happy to teach Physics and Chemistry, as there is one full time and one part time Physics teacher in a department of nine. It will be a challenge, but I'd far rather that I taught Physics rather than the kids going without Physics just because its not my first subject. I know it won't be easy, and I might not teach it as well as a Science teacher with a Physics background, but there is a downward spiral in the number of both students and teachers of the subject which might lead to no Physics in schools - a horrendous prospect. I appreciate that teaching outside specialism at A level isn't really a goer, and I can't offer a solution to that problem. However, I do think that rather than whinging that children aren't taught Physics by Physicists, people should appreciate the efforts being made by all science teachers teaching out of their specialism - and likewise, when teaching out of specialism, we should make a real effort to promote the other subjects, particularly those in decline. I see myself as a Science teacher rather than a Biology teacher, and I'd hope that others entering the profession take this requirement into account and make the most of it rather than seeing it as an obstacle. I don't think that you can make Biology a non-shortage subject (and pay less to Biology trainees who will have to teach Physics and Chemistry) when there simply aren't enough Physicists and Chemists who are up for teaching. This is fair enough, given the other opportunities that are open to them, the difficulty of the job and the limitations of the national curriculum in their subjects - but it seems crazy to penalise trainee Biology teachers who are making the effort to teach out of specialism to keep the other science subjects alive.

    (Opinion over, hope I haven't asked to be attacked with that pineapple mentioned earlier...!)
  7. As a potential Science teacher who would specialise in Physics the idea of teaching Biology worries me!! I didn't study this subject at GCSE and now I wish I had! When I first started this thread I didn't have as much understanding of the modern requirements of being a Science teacher rather than a Physics teacher. I have spent alot more time looking into this and it is now apparent that I need to brush up on my non-Physics knowledge - which I am starting to do.

    Maybe in the future there will only be PGCEs in secondary Science without the specialism.

    Does this happen in other disciplines? Would an MFL teacher specialising in French be expected to also teach German? Maybe I will take a look in the MFL section!!
  8. Don't worry about teaching Biology, it's the easiest to pick up :) If you are really stressed out, this book could help : Teaching Biology to KS4 (non-specialist handbook) by Mark Winterbottom.

    When i graduated i was given loads of books to help me in my first job, this was one of them and it is very well written, has ideas for experiments and how to execute them etc etc. Worth a read, especially during practices :) There is also a chemistry and physics one.
  9. I saw this thread and I thought you may be interested in finding out more about what the TDA are doing to support shortage secondary subjects i.e. physics, chemistry and maths.

    iTeach, is an 'online' Initital Teacher Education programme funded by the TDA.

    'iTeach is helping to combat the shortage of maths, physics and chemistry specialist teachers and means people can train in their own time, while still employed elsewhere'(TDA).

    The programme is delivered by Canterbury Christ Church University, in partnership with the largest provider of primary teacher education in Ireland, Hibernia College, specialists in online learning programmes.


    I hope you find this useful/interesting.

  10. Although there might be a shortage of physics teachers, sufficient to induce schools to recruit whatever the cost, I still think expense is a major factor in findinf a job. I was made redundant from a girls' school, nine years ago, as there was insufficient take up of A level chemistry. I thought that it would not be too difficult to find another job: how wrong I was. It took me three years to find another permanent job. My time seemed to be filled with short-term contract work in schools facing OFSTED, who needed an experienced science teacher. More than once, I found myself as the only home-trained science teacher in a school, having to get everythign ready for inspection. However, despite having the bait of a possible, permanent job dangled in front of me, when push came to shove, the budget just did not allow it.

    If there is shortage, it is for cheaper science teachers.
  11. Caminicks

    Caminicks New commenter

    Hey . . . . I am a physiologist/pharmacologist . . i was employed as a chemist and physicist in my first job, no biology in site . . . I am now teaching year 12 and 13 Physics. . and loving every minute. What's more . . . pupils are coming to me for help as they cannot understand their own physics teacher! who is a graduate of mathematics/engineering. I seriously agree with you. . but don't muddle up those who can teach . . . across subject areas . . who are willing to apply their skills with those who have qualifications and cannot teach for .&^%$#@. Even Physics!
  12. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Just seen the age of the first post. My reply isn't relevant now.
  13. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    Funny we were talking about this 10 years ago and it has not improved!

Share This Page