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QA Education asked Charles Tracy, Head of Education at the Institute of Physics, about physics teacher recruitment and how despite a rise in applications, the nation is facing a shortfall of educators in this subject…

Institute of Physics Q&A 

1. Why are you still concerned about physics teacher recruitment?  Hasn’t there been an increase in the numbers of physics teachers being recruited over the past 20 years?

Rose Hardy, Headmistress at St Margaret’s School shares her thoughts on how the school playground plays a big part of the development of children. 

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Alana Cama, Schools and Groups Programme Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) talks you through the steps to planning the perfect school garden.

Gardening is a trick up many schools’ sleeves – helping to get pupils active, boost educational attainment and promote good health and wellbeing. 

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Marco Boi, Founder and CEO of PlayinnovationTM discusses the importance of playgrounds in primary schools.

Playground days live long in the memory. Who doesn’t remember the breaktime stampede as pupils squeeze their way through classroom doors to unleash their energy – whether swinging from the monkey bars (a teacher’s worst nightmare) or playing a game of imaginary, swashbuckling pirates – keeping feet off the tarmac as if it were crocodile-infested waters.

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Katy Parkinson, founder and director of Lexonik by Sound Training, discusses how literacy training can improve the experience which academics have when attending UK universities…

Academics with English as an additional language (EAL) can benefit greatly from literacy education programmes, which improve both their vocabulary when writing and their confidence in speaking to others.

It’s a positive step that the benefits of bringing employer volunteers into the classroom are now much more widely recognised and shows the value of recent school leavers as role models.  Gatsby benchmark number 5 highlights multiple encounters with employers and employees as one of the eight core measures for good careers provision in schools, and bringing back school leavers (alumni volunteers) to share their career experience is an integral part of any good school or college careers curriculum.

A lack of workers with the correct STEM skills is reportedly costing the UK economy around £1.5 billion per annum. But could improving and developing STEM apprenticeships be the solution?

Apprenticeships are becoming more popular than ever before, which is encouraging. But more still needs to be done to close the STEM skills gap. Perhaps due to their focus on offering hands-on and practical learning processes, apprenticeship programmes are ideally suited to the STEM — science, technology, engineering, and maths — sectors.

Louise Doyle, director at Mesma, on ensuring the quality of apprenticeships...

The figures below are the results of Ofsted inspection activity in-year. It’s important to note these grades are for apprenticeship provision. This means they are not specific to any one type of provider. It’s surprising how often this is misunderstood.

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Mat Smith, chartered certified accountant and solutions architect at PS Financials, part of the IRIS Software Group, puts a spotlight on improving school finance through General Annual Grant (GAG) pooling.

Najwa Jawahar MEng, BEng CEng MIStructE, is a senior structural engineer at WSP – which provides a range of services from building high-rise property to mining precious metals. Here, she reviews the Rocking Ur Teens event which took place earlier this year in a bid to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM industries – and boost pupils' confidence.