More than a quarter of physics trainees aren’t working as teachers despite receiving hefty bursaries

The TES is reporting on government statistics that show more than one in four would-be physics teachers dropped out of their course or could not find jobs last year – despite receiving scholarships or bursaries of up to £25,000.

Of the 536 trainees eligible for bursaries who began postgraduate teacher training in 2014, 441 were awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and 380 were in a teaching post six months after completing their training, according to Department for Education data, published today.

This means that 29 per cent of those who started training with physics bursaries were not working in the classroom six months after they were expected to have finished their course.

In total 3,197 (19 per cent) of the 17,006 trainees who were eligible for a bursary in 2014-15, in both secondary subjects and primary, were not in a teaching post six months later.

The data shows that 1,462 of these trainees did not gain QTS. Of the remaining 1,735 trainees who were not in a teaching post, just 330 said they were looking for a job as a teacher.

Physics was one of four bursary subjects in which more than one in 10 trainees did not gain QTS, with 18 per cent dropping out during training. 12 per cent of trainee maths teachers and 11 per cent of chemistry and computing trainees also did not complete the course.

More at: More than a quarter of physics trainees aren’t working as teachers despite receiving hefty bursaries

You can read the full report here:


What do you think? Why are trainees not progressing to become teachers? What can be done about it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter ~ Jon

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  1. bentleykarl

    SchoolsImprove Just because you know a subject doesn’t mean you can teach it, sometimes it takes actual class experience to find that out.

  2. bentleykarl

    SchoolsImprove Always be those who decide that teaching is not for them but it takes the responsibility of having a class to find out.

  3. edujdw

    bentleykarl more complex than that. Having to teach all sciences as a specialist physicist is also a key issue I think. SchoolsImprove

  4. bentleykarl

    edujdw SchoolsImprove I’d agree if chemistry and biology had same percentages. Curious why physics majors drop out being one myself!U0001f609

  5. edujdw

    bentleykarl SchoolsImprove no. Physics grads rarely do chem and bio. But chem/bio more likely combo at A so kust 1 ‘extra’ science to do.

  6. bentleykarl

    edujdw SchoolsImprove I wonder if it’s poor strategic deployment in sec schools putting physics majors off?

  7. sisterofmurphy

    SchoolsImprove I don’t think bursaries for shortage subjects are like a Faustian pact. At least they gave it a go.

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