Science teachers and technicians are the people we rely on to educate and inspire our future scientists. Their knowledge, skills and love of the sciences provide the crucial building blocks of a thriving chemical sciences workforce.
Teaching and working as a technician can be rewarding careers. But this is also a challenging time for these professions. Many school and college science departments are understaffed in terms of both teachers and technicians, with school leaders continuing to experience recruitment and retention issues. Despite these challenges teachers told us great science teaching is:
Supporting teachers of chemistry in the UK and Ireland is a strategic priority for us. Our policy work and day to day support for teachers are shaped by continuous dialogue with education communities. In 2022 we launched The Science Teaching Survey to understand more about the experiences and attitudes of science teachers and technicians.
The annual survey amplifies the voice of secondary teachers, heads of department and technicians around the rewards and challenges of their profession. By understanding the needs and challenges faced by teachers in different regions and circumstances, we are building a body of evidence that will be used to influence government policy, prioritise programmes of support for teachers and measure the impact of our work.
We are deeply grateful to everyone who participated in the research.
The 2022 survey provided us with:
3,742 complete responses.
60 in-depth interviews to explore the challenges and rewards of delivering a high quality science education.
The findings give us a baseline against which we can measure any shift – positive or negative – in future surveys. In 2023, we want to go deeper into specific themes including:
- attitudes towards the curriculum
- teachers’ access to high quality, subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD)
- wellbeing and job satisfaction, particularly for disabled teachers and those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds
- the challenges of science teaching in schools in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation
- the deployment of subject experts
On this page is a summary of the findings and actions we are taking to drive positive change in the education sector. Use the links below to read the detail behind each of the main findings.