Early career teacher support in the wake of lockdown

Whilst ultimately it is students whose education has been most disrupted by schools closing their doors, it is important to remember that student and early career teachers may also have had setbacks to their professional development.

In the past months, we have consulted teacher trainers to find out their concerns. These centred around the need to support the current cohort in September with a reduced timetable and subject-based support, to avoid even higher dropout rates than normal. Placements for the next cohort were another significant concern, both in terms of schools being unwilling to provide them and possible limited duration.

We are continuing to work with ITE providers and the teaching community to deliver the extra support new teachers may require. Additionally, we have partnered with other organisations to communicate these issues to the government to find ways to provide the resources.

This academic year, we are putting in place a comprehensive programme of teacher CPD which will include sessions specifically designed to address these needs. Mark Whalley, IOP Education Manager said,

“We will have regular online CPD sessions which are dedicated to new and early career teachers. Our coaches will provide subject knowledge workshops and teaching support as well as making themselves available to offer advice direct to participants.”

Last year, the number of new physics teachers was particularly low. At the start of September, UCAS reported that just 520 people entered postgraduate initial teacher education in physics. According to the latest UCAS data, this year, 550 people have accepted places on ITE courses (final figures are likely to be slightly higher).

Despite the current uncertainties, this year we have seen a significant increase in the number of people applying to the IOP teacher training scholarship scheme. We are also pleased to have been able to award considerably more scholarships to prospective teachers embarking on initial teacher education this September compared to last.


Calling trainee science teachers!

Being part of the IOP community can be of great benefit to trainee science teachers, whatever their specialism. This year, we want to keep in touch with as many people starting this journey possible. We’ll share events, CPD, support opportunities and our resources. Please forward this registration url to any trainee teachers you know:

2023 IOP Awards

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