New scholarships to attract top graduates

Published on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 14:22
Posted by Scott Buckler

Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced a £2m-a-year partnership between the Department for Education and the Institute of Physics (IOP) to attract the best graduates to become physics teachers

It re-affirms the Government's commitment to recruit the very best graduates into teaching and train them even better, so that standards can rise in schools across the country.

Around 100 scholarships worth £20,000 each will be available every year for graduates with a 2:1 or first class degree who are intending to do a mainstream physics, or physics with maths, Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course.

The IOP will work with experts in teaching practice to award scholarships. They will hand-pick candidates demonstrating exceptional subject knowledge, enthusiasm for the study of physics, and outstanding potential to teach. The IOP's relationship with the scholars will continue into their teaching careers. This will develop a group of outstanding physics teachers, all part of a community of physicists across schools, universities and industry.

IOP research shows that around 1,000 new specialist physics teachers in England are needed every year for the next 15 years to plug the gap so that the subject is taught by specialist teachers. Last year around 275 fewer trainees were recruited to physics initial teacher training courses than were needed.

The scholarship comes as part of the Government's implementation plan for its ITT Strategy, Training our next generation of outstanding teachers. The implementation plan is published today.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

If we want to have an education system that ranks with the best in the world, we must attract outstanding people into the profession, and we must give them outstanding training.

The scholarship scheme launched with the Institute of Physics will help make sure we have excellent physics teachers in this country with deep subject knowledge. They will help raise the status of the teaching profession and also make a huge difference in the lives of children.

Professor Peter Main, Director of Education and Science at the Institute of Physics, said:

These scholarships will help the Institute realise its aims of welcoming a greater number of physics teachers into the broader community of physicists and of increasing the spread of subject expertise in education. They will help us to develop excellent teachers from excellent graduates. We are saying to people with a love of physics and a good academic record – ‘choose teaching: it is a job that will reward you and exploit your abilities to the full'.


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