Tories to exempt physics teachers from student tax

Michael Gove, the shadow education secretary, announced yesterday, Thursday 3 December, that a Tory administration would exempt highly-qualified graduates in physics, among other science subjects and maths, from student loan repayments.

In response to the announcement, Charles Tracy, head of education pre-19 at the Institute of Physics, said, “This is a policy which seeks to address the most serious problem in physics classrooms around the country – the lack of teachers with knowledge and enthusiasm to engage and inspire our next generation of scientists.

“Children in approximately 1000 secondary schools across the country are never taught physics by a physics specialist.

“This means too many students being taught physics by teachers who may not even have taken the subject at A-level.  How can students be inspired by teachers who themselves have no solid grasp of the subject?

“We know that we need a scientifically literate workforce if the UK is to see its way through the most pressing challenges our society faces – from a slumping economy to the threat of climate change – and it is heartening that a senior politician has listened to organisations like ours and made a sensible proposal which could have a profound and lasting effect.”