The Future Physics Leaders Programme celebrates launch of first Hub

The Future Physics Leaders programme, funded by the DfE Teaching, Leadership and Innovation Fund, is now recruiting schools, and the core aim of the programme is to improve the developmental opportunities available to teachers of Physics in specific areas of England. This month will see the launch of our very first ‘Hub’ in Blackpool, with an additional 23 hubs set to launch by the end of the year.

As we prepare for the launch of our first ‘Hub’, we sat down with new School-Based Development Coach, Jason, to find out more about his motivations for getting involved in the project and the impact he believes the programme will have on the Physics teaching community in Blackpool:

As an A-level physics teacher at Blackpool Sixth Form College, the school based development coach role gives me the opportunity to cascade my skills through the local schools and build stronger links with the teachers who are giving my future students their initial Physics education.

All students deserve to have a high-quality physics education, delivered by teachers who are trained and prepared to teach the required level of content. Unfortunately, subjects like physics are difficult to recruit teachers into, and Blackpool (along with other areas nationwide) frequently requires teachers of other specialisms to step in, often without formal support or preparation. The Future Physics Leaders project is vital to ensure we retain the physics specialists we can recruit, along with providing much needed support and guidance to non-specialists who are stepping into the role of a physics teacher.

The benefit of developing a network of physics teachers to support each other is also a major component of the programme. Jason told us: “By working as a Lead School in the Future Physics Leaders scheme, Blackpool Sixth Form College will further strengthen the links we have with the secondary schools in our local area. This will allow us to share our skills and knowledge with other teachers, and will also give us the opportunity to produce a consistent approach to physics education in the area, even though the transition from their 11-16 high school into our sixth form college.

By the end of the programme, it’s not just the local physics teachers that will ultimately benefit. Jason also added: “By improving the levels of education in physics in Blackpool, more young people in Blackpool will find opportunities, at both universities and in employment, that were previously not accessible to them and allow them to flourish and progress even further than they can currently.

Blackpool is the town that I was born in, and I love how the role allows me to give something back to the community and improve the standards of the physics education that the students in Blackpool receive.

Knowing that my work through the Future Physics Leaders programme will improve the skills of hundreds of young people across Blackpool is something that really resonates with me.”

If your school is interested in getting involved, come to one of our regional taster days below to check out the support available and meet some of the team:

  • Central Region: National Space Centre, Leicester, LE4 5NS – Wednesday 28th February 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm. Register here.
  • Southern Region: Etc. Venues, London, W2 2EA – Monday 5th March 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm. Register here.
  • Northern Region: Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, M3 4FP – Friday 16th March 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm. Register here.

For more information about these events and to find out how your school can potentially get involved, please contact fpl@iop.org.uk or go to the FPL web page

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