Teacher support

6 February 2019

In 2018, the Trust launched a new programme to support the development and retention of early career physics teachers with five places awarded in the first year. Applications are now open for 2019/20 and the Trust hopes to recruit a further 10 teachers to the programme this year.*

The Ogden Early Career Teacher Development (ECTD) programme supports physics teachers who are between their second and fifth year of teaching post qualifying. The programme is designed to support these early career teachers in their subject knowledge and pedagogical development following their formal teacher training. The programme, which awards a grant to the school as a time buy out of a half day per week, involves regular mentoring, access to, and funding for, additional CPD, and set timetable release to develop subject knowledge and pedagogy.

“Retention of excellent science teachers in the profession has been a growing concern across the education sector,” explains Charley Phillips, Programme Officer for The Ogden Trust. “Early career retention is a particular issue with the likelihood of science NQTs leaving the profession within their first five years in teaching, 20 per cent higher than for similar non-science NQTs*. The Ogden Trust aims to address this through engaging early career teachers in a mentoring and development programme; ensuring they are valued in their role, have the correct support and subject knowledge development and the tools to progress in their teaching career."

Early Career Teacher Development Conference, Cambridge 2019
Early Career Teacher Development Conference, Cambridge 2019

“In February we held our first Early Career Teacher Conference bringing together newly qualified teachers (NQT) supported by the IOP Future Physics Leaders programme and the Ogden Trust’s cohort of early career teachers. An exciting programme of CPD was arranged by James de Winter, Associate Lecturer in Science Education at the University of Cambridge and Ogden lead for initial teacher education & early career teacher development. The CPD was delivered by experienced physics teachers and education professionals; it offered practical and easy to implement ideas for the NQT and early career teachers to take back to their classrooms. The day was a great success,” concludes Charley, “with eight early career teachers engaging in professional development.

“I got totally inspired and was working on physics ideas for the rest of the day”
“Loved Saturday's sessions - I've already used the plastic cups and water reflection demo! Worked a treat!”

Tony Le is one of the first intake on the ECTD programme and attended the recent conference. He loves his job as a teacher but is only too aware of the challenges faced by himself and others within the teaching profession, the issues of workload, pay and retention are well-documented in the media and felt by those within the profession: “Being part of the ECTD programme has immeasurably facilitated the development of my teaching practice, affording the time for reflection and crucially the time to convert these reflections into actions and implementations. It is an inevitable indictment of the profession that teachers are scarcely afforded the time they deserve and need to develop, but it is testimony to the Trust’s devotion to physics education that this has been made possible.

Early Career Teachers exploring RAF100 resources
Early career teachers exploring RAF100 resources

“In addition to the valuable protected time I have been given, the programme has also facilitated my attendance at the ASE Conference, Europe’s largest subject-specific education conference. This proved to be the most effective CPD I have ever participated in and even yielded the opportunity to present myself alongside fellow PGCE graduates of the UCL Institute of Education.

“I have been able to network with like-minded teachers on the programme and received the counsel and expertise of an incredibly knowledgeable and supportive mentor. This in particular is crucial for many, as the national dearth of physics teachers means many newly qualified teachers do not have an experienced subject specialist within their school that they can call upon for advice and guidance when they are faced with sometimes unassailable expectations.

“Despite the challenges, I now cannot imagine myself in any other profession: the anecdotes of penny-dropping moments when students grasp new concepts, the adrenaline we experience during and following exceptional lessons, and above all, our pride as we witness the progress of young people; not only as science learners but also as well-rounded individuals.”

Charlotte Grace is another teacher benefitting from the ECTD programme. Now in her third year teaching science (specialising in physics) at Outwood Academy Shafton, Charlotte already has a wide remit of responsibilities at the school. She is Associate Assistant Principal within the Deep Learning team, looking after all initial teacher trainees at the academy, and supporting the NQTs. Charlotte acknowledges that this is a “challenging but extremely rewarding role in a very supportive school.” Her participation in the ECTD programme gives her valuable time to reflect on and develop her own teaching, as well as allowing more time for other projects she is involved with at the academy.

“The Ogden Early Career Teacher Development programme has allowed me to explore teaching ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise had time to experience. It has also given me communication with an experienced physics mentor who has provided me with ideas and support relating to my own professional development but also ideas surrounding engagement and teaching the curriculum.

“The time afforded to me through the ECTD programme has been of great benefit to our school STEM club and has allowed me to take more time to evaluate how to make my lessons engaging and emphasise the real-world context of the physics I teach.”

The Ogden Early Career Teacher Development programme awards a grant to the school as a time buy out of a half day per week (0.1FTE) at a set rate of £2,500 for one year. The school must confirm that they will support this time release, if the applicant is successful, at the time of application.

Application deadline for academic year 2019/20: 20 March 2019.

Please visit our Teacher Support page: Early Career Teacher Development. for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

* Applicants must be teaching physics in a state school in England and entering their second to fifth year post qualifying.

** Allen & Sims, Improving Science Teacher Retention, Education Datalab 2017

Experienced teachers sharing their favourite ideas with our early career teachers. Half life with skittles if they haven’t all been eaten!
Experienced teachers sharing their favourite ideas with our early career teachers: half life with skittles if they haven’t all been eaten!

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