New scheme to boost physics teacher numbers

Teacher training providers are being asked to develop new courses to encourage engineering graduates to become physics teachers. The Department for Education has opened up applications to help develop pilot schemes to boost physics teacher trainee numbers amid shortages. The scheme, which is set to launch in September 2022, will give successful initial teacher training (ITT) provider applicants funding up to £19,999 to design and pilot a physics ITT course for engineering graduates. Last month, the Institute of Physics warned the DfE that the physics teacher shortage needed "urgent action". Last year, only 22 per cent of the physics teachers needed to hit the DfE's own target were recruited. The DfE has said it wants to work with a "small cohort" of ITT providers, however it is as yet unclear how many will be recruited. The department has also said that the aim of the pilot is to assess whether a wider roll-out of a bespoke physics teacher training course for engineers is feasible going forwards. How to apply Applications to take part in the pilot scheme opened yesterday and close at 5pm on Friday 4 March 2022. Providers will be informed of the outcome of their application by 8 March. There are a number of criteria that applicants must meet to be eligible for the application process. Providers must already be accredited by the DfE to deliver ITT leading to qualified teacher status (QTS). They must also already be delivering physics ITT courses and have "experience in training a range of graduates to teach physics, whether from an engineering or other degree background". Providers that wish to apply must also have an Ofsted inspection rating of "outstanding" or "good" for their secondary QTS provision. Recently accredited ITT providers who have not yet undergone an inspection will not be eligible to apply. Requirements of the scheme Those who are successful in the application stage will have a number of targets they will have to meet during the process. These are: • Create a physics teacher training pilot programme for engineering graduates incorporating the Core Content Framework (CCF), which meets the ITT criteria and allows trainees to meet the Teachers' Standards. • Secure at least 10 trainees each onto the pilot, in addition to the providers' regular physics trainees. • Produce a vision or mission statement for the pilot programme. • Ensure trainees can feed back on the programme and share this information on successes and challenges with the DfE. More information about how to apply and the expectations of those providers involved is set out here. You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month Register for free to read more You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below. Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get: Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content Exclusive subscriber-only articles Email newsletters Subscribe now Register Already registered? Log in You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month Subscribe to read more You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get: Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content Exclusive subscriber-only articles Email newsletters Subscribe now