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Where are all the science jobs?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by welshwizard, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    It is still early in the season. The majority of NQT posts are filled summer term. The resignation date for teachers to leave for September is not until the end of May . This year the late Easter and extra holiday will also delay things.That said the good teacher training guide 2010 shows that 69% of Science PGCE's awarded QTS entered teaching. Demand does vary according to which science subjects you specialise in and which part of the country you are in.
  2. When I did my PGCE, in 2005, it was the same story:- we were told, "Chemistry/ Physics specialists, you'll have your pick of schools". NOT TRUE.

    If about 2/3 of PGCE Science students get a job, 1/3 don't. Plus the 1/3 from last year and the year before, etc, etc. In 2005, if my memory serves me correctly, in the North West approx. 350 got jobs and 150 didn't.

    My advice would be to apply for everything (don't be picky) and if you're lucky you'll get a job and if not you're in good company!
  3. There are none! Don't believe the lies that the uni are feeding you, I too fell into the trap!
    I graduated last year (im based in NW too) we were told there would be loads of jobs for us because we are in such high demand, as a result I was picky with the jobs I applied for and I am sat here still looking for a job.
    All of the people off my course who did get jobs moved out of the NW, there is too much competition going. I have had 4 interviews in the space of a full year, infact my first interview was this time last year! Each interview I have been too we were told there were well over 100 applicants.
    So not only will you be fighting with people off your course, but last years graduates and the year before and so on. Then there are also teachers who want to get back into teaching or whose contracts have ended or who simply want to move schools. So I second the advice above, apply for everything and don't be disheartened when you don't hear back or get the job. Also don't set your sights on supply, there is none of that either!
    Good luck (your going to need it, we all need it!) [​IMG]
  4. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    It is disgraceful that universities keep churning out PGCE students far in excess of demand. Reminds me of legal schools in the nineties when trainee solicitors were literally begging in the streets. But they were sold courses by shady private colleges not state funded unis. A real national disgrace.

    It is about time teacher training was made a real job with a two (or three) year training contract. Unis could still provide the theoretical input but trainee teachers should be paid real salaries for real positions that exist. A summer 1-2 month theory course could start it. Trainee teachers could still get a pgce and be allowed to get master credits which I think is a good idea to encourage lifelong good learning practice. But only recruit teachers for jobs that exist. But then that would mean the end of the pgce gravy chain for lazy unis!

    I have just passed my nqt year but I would say I modelled the above on training as a chartered accountant which works on the same basis. You get paid fir a real job and if you get kicked out then no debt. Far better and I think it would encourage increasing the failure rate as some trainee teachers are clearly a bit weak..... But commuted with a debt chain around their neck - they suffere as well as the students
  5. The job market for science is regionally controlled and in some areas there are NO candidates for key physics/chemistry jobs and in others too many candidates. The TDA does not set allocations to universities on the basis of region as such since where a person trains will not determine where they eventually work.
    In Sussex, for example, 90+% of the cohort we trained last year obtained teaching jobs in science for September 2010. How many are still in post I don't know as we lose touch. but often, a good indicator is requests for references and I've had none from my trainees from last year who were all in post by January of this year.
    The TDA has just provided us with the allocations for 2011 and there has been a cut of about 15% in the science numbers. The new global number for science is 2,835. Within this biology and 'other' sciences have been slashed, but physics and chemistry has gone up. Physics numbers have risen by about 50% to 925 from about 600 odd this year. Chemistry has gone up a little but to 1,070. Many univcersities will now be looking very carefully at their biology provision to see if they can sustain them or if they will hand back their numbers so others can make viable cohorts.
    Nationally there is still a shortage of physics and chemistry posts - only yesterday I was asked where the physics teachers are as the person was aware of a school that could not attract a physicist. How successful we will be in attracting physics trainees I don't know, but doubt that nationally the target of 925 will be met.
    We try to be realistic about the jobs market with our trainees and already some of the current cohort have secured jobs in schools where they were placed.
    So overall jobs are there, BUT in certain regions they are not. If you can/are willing to travel then your chances of securing a good science post increase.
  6. Just to add as well that the universities are not in charge of the numbers, they are set by the TDA on their own jobs market and teacher supply estimates. We are told what to recruit and we are penaliswed if we over recruit or under recruit - we are also rated on the jobs success of our trainees so it is not in our interests to churn out scientists with no jobs - that would impact badly on our standing as a provider.
  7. I did my PGCE in Merseyside last year. The problem is that there are a fair few uni's in the region (I think it works out to be about 10!) and there aren't that many jobs. People tend to stay where they are and theres not much movement.

    I was planning on moving to London so it didn't affect me too much, however there was a crazy amount of competition for any jobs that came up. If it is possible I'd say move away. I know it's not the answer for everyone, but if the opportunity is there seize it with both hands!

    Sorry I can't come up with something more helpful.
  8. mysterycat

    mysterycat New commenter

    I can only wholeheartedly endorse the comments in this thread. The may indeed be lots of science jobs nationally but a huge chunk of those are in the London/South East area where it is tough to survive on a teacher's salary. Jobs in the fairer parts of the North West are hard to come by as people rarely move - that is not a new situation. I know of people who qualified in teaching up to 40 years ago and still found the same thing.
    Even when you complete your NQT year with good experience, the competition is enormous for every job, particularly in good schools. I would think twice about signing up for teaching unless you are open to anything.
    There are options of course. The cost of living is ferociously high in the South East but some school do offer subsidised accommodation in order to win and keep competent staff. If you are young and happy to move away from your home area, it is worthwhile finding out about this kind of thing. At least you will be getting some experience in your chosen profession.
  9. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Physicists and Chemists...come to Essex!!! I would love some more of each...my department of 18 teachers has 2 Physicists and 2 Chemists.
    I have also noticed in this area that many schools have given up advertising Science vacancies because of the cost and poor return. We train GTPs and have a number of permanent staff in Science through this route; we also recruit through an agency - I have four overseas teachers from this route.
    I would suggest sending a CV and an excellent letter to as many schools as you can...you may find that they have posts not yet advertised, and you have nothing to lose.
    But if you're a Physicist or Chemist, and fancy coming to sunny Essex......
  10. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Yes i do and what is the name of the school I need to send my CV to, being from essex and living in Yorkshire it would be nice to understand what people are saying again.
  11. I'm based in Essex at due to finish a SCITT course in late may so could I have details of your school too?

  12. I work in a school in Essex. We have a lot of biologists and a fair few physicists but I am one of two chemists. I started here in Sept and I was the only chemist they interviewed (on the day I was the only candidate). There's a real shortage of chemists down here. I applied for three jobs, got three interviews and was offered two jobs (I cancelled the third interview as I accepted job 2). I am in my NQT year so there's definitely work out there (or here).
  13. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Sorry for late reply!
    Check your PM inbox!

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