Schools in the “cold spots” of education are less likely to hire science teachers

New research suggests that “cold spots” in education identified in the White Paper for promotion have fewer vacancies and fewer opportunities to hire specialist science teachers.

The White Paper identified 55 “cold spots” or educational investment frameworks (EIAs) in education where school outcomes are weakest, support-focused, including funded funding to retain the best teachers in high-priority subjects.

Areas include Knowsley, Hartlepool, Isle of Wight and Oldham.

However, in order to work fully, schools in more disadvantaged areas also require the search for specialized teachers.


The researchers said that the government’s plans to hire more science teachers through a salary award would only work if schools were looking for specialist science teachers if they were looking for EIA.

The study found that the number of teaching places was lower in the “cold spots” of education, a trend ahead of the pandemic.

Vacancies in science teaching in EIAs were also much less likely to determine a particular science, such as biology or chemistry.

The researchers said that this has provided some support for early retirement allowances for teachers in subjects such as chemistry and physics to help schools keep teachers in high-priority subjects.

They added that the allowances should also be higher for EIA schools.

Research has found that EIA schools are less likely to hire specialist science teachers. (Ben Birchall / PA)

(PA Archive)

“However, success will require that schools themselves first and foremost seek specialist teachers,” they added.

A review of the SchoolDash website looked at the number of jobs published in schools and universities in England from 2019 to 2022.

Prior to the pandemic, EIA schools were announcing fewer vacancies, which continued into the 2021/22 school year.

In 2019, there were 12.5 advertisements per 1,000 teachers in science EIAs, compared to 15.8 in non-EIA schools. By 2022, there were 12.4 advertisements in EIAs, compared to 16.9 in non-EIA schools.

Non-EIA schools had a higher number of advertisements for basic subjects in English, math and science between 2019 and 2022.

The largest differences between EIA schools and non-EIA schools were seen in the number of jobs in business, humanities, and music and theater.

The difference between EIA and non-EIA schools seems to be real, and largely reflects real hiring rates, presumably driven by staff shifts.


SchoolDash said that for some curriculum areas, such as business, non-EIA schools are likely to offer this subject in the first place, but that would not be true in core subjects such as science, math, English and humanities, where. there were still ‘significant differences’ in recruitment.

The researchers said that “the difference between non-EIA and non-EIA schools seems to be real, largely reflecting actual recruitment rates, driven by alleged staff shifts.”

The report also shows that the proportions of science teacher advertisements are lower in EIA schools, in advertisements that specify sciences such as biology or chemistry. Non-EIA schools.

The researchers said that this reflects a lower utilization of individual sciences in “cold spots” because more students opt for the dual science GCSE.

In 2022-2023, “award fees” of between £ 1,500 and £ 3,000 will be set for early school chemistry, computer science, maths and physics teachers (with higher pay for EIA schools), according to a study by the Gatsby Foundation and University College. which will improve retention.

“However, schools in more disadvantaged areas also need to look for specialized teachers first to work fully,” SchoolDash said.

“While it may not prove more difficult to fulfill these roles, they seem more likely to seek generalist science teachers.”

When the policy was announced, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The quality of education of students in crucial subjects such as mathematics and science should not depend on where they live, and teachers should not feel that they have to leave their local area.

“Raising our premiums will help children and young people provide the best specialized education in math, physics, chemistry and computer science, while at the same time helping jobs in low-income areas, helping everyone’s education and growing the economy.”

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