The level of science technician support in schools is falling.
School science technicians are often overlooked as a profession. That’s why we – in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and with input from the Association for Science Education (ASE) – commissioned a piece of research analysing how the school science technician workforce in England has changed since 2011/12.
The research was carried out by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), and analysed the Department for Education’s school workforce census – an annual data collection of school staff in England and also explores the characteristics, pay and contractual arrangements of the school science technician workforce.
Key findings of the report
- The median full-time equivalent school science technician annual salary has been flat in real-terms between 2011/12 and 2018/19 – having grown at roughly the rate of inflation. Most of the science technician workforce is employed on a term-time only basis, which comes with a significantly lower salary compared to those technicians on a full-year contract.
- The average number of FTE science technicians per school has fallen by 16 per cent since 2011/12. The proportion of schools with an adequate level of science technician support –according to the Association for Science Education’s suggested minimum service factor – has fallen from 21 to 15 per cent.
- Regions in the north of England have considerably lower levels of science technician support than in London or the south of England. Additionally, schools with a less affluent pupil intake tend to have less technician support than those with a more affluent intake.
Download the full report
We support the following recommendations
The Government should review science technician pay and conditions, considering what policy measures might help to attract and retain science technicians in the future.
More research should be conducted to understand better the relationship between science technician support and science teacher workload.
The Government should consider what policy measures might encourage schools to increase the level of science technician provision and support.
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