Wanted: physics teachers

The government must take urgent action to deal with a ‘severe shortage’ of physics teachers or the subject will die out in schools, a report warns.

Buckingham University academics studied 432 schools and colleges in England and Wales and found 38% fewer pupils were taking A-level physics than in 1990.

Over the same period, the number of new physics teachers dropped from about a third of the science total to 12.8%.

The government said it was working hard to reverse a ‘long-term trend’.

The report also found that half of physics teachers had not studied the subject to any level at university, with this being most common among younger teachers.

“Increasing numbers of teachers of physics are qualified in biology, with more aged 21 to 30 holding a degree in biology than in physics,” it said.

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