Feeds

Warning sounded over black hole in UK physics teaching

Boffin targets to be missed

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

One in four state secondary schools do not employ a specialist physics teacher, according to research out today.

The picture, based on a survey of school recruiters, trainees and colleges, varies around the English regions. The situation is bleakest for physics in inner London, where half of the schools don't have a specialist brain in the staff room.

New rules from September this year mean pupils who score well enough in key stage three science SATs must be offered the choice to take a standalone physics GCSE.

Yet during 2005/06, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 26 per cent more specialist physics teachers retired or quit than came into the profession. The figures are muddied by the fact that teacher training colleges can bag a £1,000 premium by listing general science trainees as "specialists".

One set of data from training colleges shows physics specialist applications down 27 per cent this year, however.

The University of Buckingham researchers behind the report argue that the drop-off may be a sign of new tuition fees levied against trainees in 2006 beginning to bite.

One comprehensive school told the researchers: "Retention is vital. We have not been able to recruit a 'true' physicist for five years. Adverts have on occasion produced a nil response and other attempts produced no viable candidates."

The authors conclude that the government will likely fail to meet its 2014 target of one quarter of school science teachers being physics specialists. In 1983 physics specialists accounted for 30 per cent of trainee science teachers. Last year they were down to 13 per cent.

The full physics teaching doom rundown is here (pdf). ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?