Date published: October 2019

Published by: Education Endowment Foundation 

Around 60% of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) with a physics specialism leave the profession within five years. Workload is consistently highlighted as a concern. This project aims to reduce teacher workload – and in turn improve retention – by providing physics teachers with an easier beginning to their teaching career.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) are specialists in supporting physics teachers and have identified key factors that determine the ease of transition for a physics graduate through their NQT year.IOP will support schools to provide the conditions physics specialists need to stay in the profession, aiming to provide a better start for physics-specialist teachers and stronger retention outcomes for science departments.

How you can get involved

KEEP Teaching is currently recruiting, register your interest using the contact information below.

Contact: KEEPTeaching@iop.org

Signup deadline: 31st May, 2020

Key Stages: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5.

Trial location:

East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands.

Full description of trial

Why are we funding it?

This project was funded as part of the Science Teacher Retention grants round, co-funded with The Wellcome Trust to address the chronic challenge of teacher retention. Science teachers are more likely to leave the profession than non-science teachers, particularly within their first five years of teaching.Physics graduates in particular are the least likely to join teaching and most likely to leave in the first few years. While some factors affecting this are beyond the school’s control, there are ways schools can increase the likelihood of their physics NQTs staying. The Institute of Physics have a sensible, evidence-based approach for working with schools to enable them to support NQT physics teachers effectively.

How are we evaluating it?

A team from UCL Institute of Education has been appointed to evaluate this project. This is a two-armed randomised controlled trial, and is an efficacy trial, meaning it will test the programme under developer-led conditions. The trial will run for 5 years in total, with three cohorts of 100 pre-NQTs recruited annually and tracked for their NQT year and the two following years. The primary outcome measure will be teacher retention in the profession.

We will also measure retention in the school, teacher workload and job satisfaction, as well as surveying heads of science to understand usual practice and the changes that occur through the intervention. An additional analysis will look at the GCSE science results at the school level.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Spring 2025.

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