Bolton School Senior Boys

New Initiatives Aim to Boost Teacher Recruitment

Bolton School, as the Northern hub school, is playing its part in a new Department for Education (DfE) drive to recruit more Mathematics, Physics and MFL teachers. The National Maths and Physics SCITT (School-centred Initial Teacher Training) as well as the National Modern Foreign Languages SCITT are at the forefront of a DfE initiative to spearhead subject specific teacher training on a national basis in shortage subject areas, which aims to buck the trend in declining applications for Teacher Training, as reported by UCAS.

Initial interest in these unique training programmes is encouraging, as high quality trainees are reacting positively to the bespoke offer.

Both programmes are the result of pioneering partnerships between the state and private sectors to build numbers of trainee teachers.

The National Modern Foreign Languages SCITT, which launched last September and is led by Silverdale School in Sheffield, will exclusively train modern foreign language teachers. The National Maths and Physics SCITT, which is led by Wycombe High School in High Wycombe, will recruit its first cohort of Maths and Physics teachers in September this year, and is already open for applications. Both SCITTs will operate additional regional hubs led by Bolton School and Dulwich College, and Headington School will partner with Wycombe High School to lead Physics training for the Central Hub. 

Speaking about their recent DfE designation, Sharon Cromie, Executive Headteacher at Wycombe High School Academies Trust said: “We are delighted to be leading the new National Mathematics and Physics SCITT (NMAPS) to help improve the recruitment and retention of trainee teachers and are particularly pleased to be bringing the state and independent sectors together on this extremely important initiative.”

Sarah Yarwood, Director of NMAPS added: “This new model of recruitment and training offers unprecedented opportunities for our trainee teachers to gain subject specific training from outstanding practitioners. For example in addition to the NMAPS subject knowledge training programme, our Physics trainees will benefit from being able to access The Institute of Physics Scholars Masterclasses. 

“We have been delighted by the quality of the candidates enquiring about this programme and are excited by the potential they have for making a real and positive impact on young people’s lives.”

Joe Spence, The Master at Dulwich College, which is leading the London Hub for both SCITTs, commented:  “On the evidence our first year of taking prospective teachers through this initiative, it is clear that it both attracts high-quality candidates and affords them a balance of freedom and rigour in their training that will prepare them well for the classroom. 

“We welcome the support of the DfE and the Secretary of State for Education in raising the profile of these national SCITT schemes, as a way to ensure the provision of good teachers in minority subjects and as an excellent way for good independent and state schools to work together, as equal partners, for the promotion of the teaching profession and the improvement of children’s education in the UK at a critical time.”

Caroline Jordan, Headmistress at Headington School - the NMAPS Central Hub for Physics - said: “We are very much looking forward to working in close partnership with our state school colleagues to attract and train the very best individuals into these critical minority subject areas. We hope the opportunity to work and train in some of the best state and independent schools in the country will inspire some of the extremely high calibre candidates we know are out there to consider teaching.  As a Physics teacher myself, this is a subject very close to my heart and on a personal level, I am excited about introducing highly-skilled and highly-qualified Physicists to the incredibly rewarding world of teaching.”

Philip Britton Head of Bolton School Boys Division and Northern Hub commented:  “The National SCITT, with the unique combination of high quality placements at state and independent schools, provides a highly attractive and supportive entry to the teaching profession. There is no doubt this is an important aspect of tackling the shortage of high quality teachers in these vital subjects and we are very happy to play our part in dealing with this urgent issue of teacher supply for all pupils across the country. It is an excellent example of constructive partnership for the good of all.”

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said: ‘’There is a shortage of modern languages, maths and physics teachers in England, which is why we are keen to support projects designed to support the training of good teachers based in the best schools, and we are delighted with the support we have received from the Department for Education.

“Maths and Physics are two vitally important subjects but ones where the UK is particularly weak compared to many other countries. One problem is the low take-up of Physics A-level by clever girls. That is why it is especially good to have schools involved with the NMAPS who have mastered the art of making Physics and Maths popular with able girls.”

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