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    • #14000
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      Are the numbers shown here really true?

      Welsh Physics Teachers: Where are they going?

    • #14001
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    • #14002
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      As you point out in your blog, even if the numbers are true the normalisation process removes almost all the interesting features.

       

      Is the dip evidence of a reducing cohort half life?  Young teachers leave after 5-10 years and are replenished by return to work or career change teachers much later than in the past. Or the younger teachers now have a shorter half life so the gap between them and the second cohort is exposed.  Very tricky to unpick what is going on. 

    • #14003
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      Yes. We don’t quite understand. It looks like two humps. One the outgoing cohort of physics teachers with another of new teachers coming in. And you might think no-one had been recruited in the meantime. But over the last few years that dip has gotten bigger. We do now have the raw data and the dip drops down to just 12 teachers in the 35-39 age group. We think we should be able to track them all down individually! Then we can ask them if they know what has happened to their peers. In terms of overall numbers it isn’t an insurmountable problem, however for things like curriculum development etc in 10-15 years time it is. The number of really experienced physics teachers in Wales may be just a handful.

    • #14004
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      These are the actual figures, assuming you can see the graph.

    • #14005
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    • #14006
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      https://www.talkphysics.org/groups/4911/forums/4919#comment-12737

       

      So I did a right click and copy link location and then pasted. The link above will then take me to the specific posting I want to discuss. I’ve changed it a few times and used italics to show where I’ve made comments. Shame I can’t change text colour. I think this survey introduction is okay now. Any comments are welcome.

    • #14007
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      A Gantt chart showing how things are expected to proceed, done using ProjectLibre.

      welsh_physics_teacher_numbers_gantt.pdf

    • #14009
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    • #14012
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      Hi Gary,

       

      In tandem with this I am going to do some simple forecasting of how the numbers here might play out in the long term based on current recruitment rates – with a worst case and best case scenario depicted. 

       

      I am also trying to obtain the equivalent numbers for England, but this might prove difficult as the English techer stats are less accessible without an equivalent to the GTCW in England anymore. The IOP has been trying to get similar stats too, but running into red tape. 

       

      For anyone who is interested I also have the raw data for this measure on Chemistry and Biology available (they don’t show the same trend). 

    • #14013
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      Research Question

       

      So I’m thinking that the research question is actually going to be pretty direct:

       

      Can we identify the 12 teachers registered as qualified physics teachers by the GTCW in the age range 35-39 years of age working in Welsh schools in 2014?

       

      Because this is the question we really want answered due to the small number. By which I mean that we can actually find these 12 and hopefully maintain a dialogue with them. There are then further questions that arise from that:

      • Are the GTCW figures correct? Are there more teachers out there than the figures suggest?
      • Have we lost teachers or did we not recruit them in the first place?
      • If we lost teachers, where did they go?
      • Is it a gender issue? (Maternity might play a part in such a small number).
      • Are those 12 FTEs?
      • Have they been in contact with the IOP at all?

       

      and of course if it really is that case then we might want to consider what to do about it.

    • #14014
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      Survey Questions

      I want to find out if these numbers are really true. We tried an initial e-mail out to “mates” and we think we might have a couple of the 12 in the 35-39 age group but it’s suprising that there aren’t more and it sort of backs up the figures. If there really are only 12 we ought to be able to find them and then see if they can shed any light on their peers. I think I’m going to start with an online survey. It will need:

      • Introduction
      • Ethical statement
      • Age and dob as a cross check.
      • What about gender?
      • Current or last school, name and postcode
      • What about type of school? State, independent etc (not that independent schools don’t require GTCW registration – which could mean matters are worse if an independent school teach is actually registered).
      • Qualifications – academic and professional
      • Size of department
      • Whether registered with GTCW
      • Whether still in teaching what about whether they’re in Wales or not? They might still be teaching but elsewhere.
      • (Last) year of teaching
      • Proportion of time table teaching physics and other science or other subjects
      • A level or GCSE teaching
      • Contact details
      • Thank you
    • #14015
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      We ought to know criteria which the GTCW use and the action taken if teachers don’t register. We might have unregistered teachers in schools who then don’t respond to the survey – I’ll have to state explicitly that their identity won’t be revealed.

    • #14016
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      I’ve e-mailed GTCW to ask about sanctions for those not registered and to request a registration pack.

    • #14017
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      Good job you mentioned those as I should have used them. They suggest that it’s not just a hiccup in the data etc

      Do you happen to have graphs of those already?

      I think it also suggests we can take a largely positivist approach in that these are actual real teachers and not a construct from the data and also that we ought to be able to find them. What has occured to me that’s even more worrying is that the 12 might not even be full time….

      chemistry_-_final_version_january_2014.pdf

      biology_-_final_version_january_2014.pdf

    • #14020
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Gary, 

       

      I don’t have the other graphs just yet – I am waiting on a call from the London IT crowd to get some number crunching software installed on my laptop so I can work the numbers out better. I’ll get to work extracting the data from the PDFs – it’s a surprisingly convoluted process!

       

      Dave C

    • #14021
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      I spoke to the GTCW this morning. For individual teachers there’s no fear of legal action being taken against them if they aren’t registered. Which is good but strange given that they are the ones supposedly paying. It sounds like if someone wasn’t registered then the GTCW contacts the LEA or school etc and then they can be directed by WG as a last resort. But I was told that hadn’t happened in 12 years.

      Also I was told that there are sort of three positions: 1] Regsitered with the GTCW 2] Not registered with the GTCW and 3] Unqualified/unregistered/shortage subject etc. in special circumstance (so not being able to recruit people) someone could be appointed in a supposedly temporary arrangement who wasn’t registered.

      So the survey needs to reflect this.

    • #14022
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      GTCW also said that the latest snapshot of figures will be on 1st March so we shouldn’t run the survey until after that.

    • #14023
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      3rd Draft – for comment – this is for the survey.

       

      Ethical statement

      This research is being carried out by Gary Williams who works for the Institute of Physics and who can be contacted at [email protected]. The aim of the research is to assess the current provision of qualified physics teachers in Wales by government and offer advice on future recruitment. At any time you may withdraw from the research either by not completing surveys and/or interviews, asking for any data relating to you to be anonymised, or asking for that data to be deleted all together. On proof of identity any details held will be made available to that person. As it is our intention to interview a selection of those taking part in the survey there clearly will be a need to circulate contact details between the interviewee and the interviewer. However, identities are not critical to this research and passing on of contact details or other identifiable responses  will be kept to an absolute minimum, and never passed on to a third party. For most taking part there will be no use of contact details at all.

      For those not registered with the GTCW (General Teaching Council for Wales, http://www.gtcw.org.uk) you should be aware that there are no sanctions taken against individuals by the GTCW for those not registered. No personal details will be passed to the GTCW nor any recieved.
      Findings of the research will be included in a paper to be published in a peer reviewed journal, but will also be available on request and may be disseminated through professional networks. Data will be stored on-line via a password protected portal initially and then downloaded to be kept in a password protected folder. The on-line data will then be removed so that only one copy remains.

    • #14024
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      2nd Draft for comment 

       

      * denotes complulsory question

      Questions

      1. *Please tell us which age range you fell into on 1st March 2014 (Buttons:(20-24)(25-29)(30-34)(35-39)(40-44)(45-49)(50-54)(55-59)(60-64)(65-69)(70+))
      2. *When was your month and year of birth? (Spaces for month and year)
      3. Gender – (Buttons) (Male) (Female) (Other – comment space) (Prefer not to say)
      4. What is your Post Title? (Teacher) (Head of Department) (Supply Teacher) (Advisory Teacher) (Head of Faculty) (Other – comment)
      5. *Please provide details of the current or last school in which you taught in Wales, (All space) (School Name) and (Postcode) (County)
      6. *When did you last teach in this school? (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011) (2010) (Before 2010)
      7. What type of school/employer is this? (State), (Independent) (Supply Agency) (Other – comment box)
      8. *Do you have QTS (qualified teacher status)(Yes) (No)
      9. What professional qualifications do you hold? (BEd)(PGCE)(None)(Other – comment box)
      10. Institution where studied (Comment box)
      11. Year of award (Comment box)
      12. What is the highest academic qualifications that you hold?  (Subject – comment box) Level (Doctorate) (Masters) (Degree) (Other – comment box)
      13. Institution where studied (Comment box)
      14. How many full time staff members are in your current or last science department? (Comment box)
      15. Approximately how many of these staff taught physics? (Comment box)
      16. *Are you registered with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW)? (Yes) (No) (Don’t know)(Not relevant – temporary arrangement)
      17. Are you employed (Full time) (Part time) (Supply)
      18. What proportion of your time table is spent teaching physics? (Comment box)
      19. What other subjects do you teach (None) (3 Comment boxes with spaces for proportions)
      20. At what level do you teach physics? (Buttons) (A level) (KS4) (KS3) (Other)
      21. Please provide your contact e-mail. (Comment box)
      22. Thank you for taking part in this survey.

       

      More thought needed. Thank you needs improving – look in RMiE.

       Have checked this against GTCW form and are using the same wording. Needs to be something about the amount of time it will take in the introduction.

    • #14025
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      Looks good, but is it a bit too long? Will people take the time to fill it in? How are we going to reach all the teachers?

      Alessio.

    • #14026
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      Yes – but which questions could we get rid of?

       

      Question 7 could go as we should be able to look this info up, except if they’re teaching supply. That might then not show up. We could get rid of 4 but that was there to try and tie in with the GTCW form, it might show us if people have gone nto management. We could axe 14, 15, 18, 19 and 20. The idea was to try and get a snapshot of the situation within the school. We might sacrifice those for a bit of an easier time replying.

    • #14027
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      Looks not too long, to me. Generate Q1 answer from Q2 answer? Move Q8-13 to just after Q3, that helps the time flow of the questions, which may help?

      Keith

    • #14028
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      I wanted Q1 and Q2 to be cross checks so we make sure we’ve definitely got the right folk. Maybe they put themselves in the wrong box! That’s a good idea about the time flow. It’ll be much easier if they’re answering from the sequence of memories rather than randomly.

    • #14029
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      Looks good, but is it a bit too long? Will people take the time to fill it in? How are we going to reach all the teachers?

    • #14030
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      Is it worth finding out the teacher’s background ie state or private?

    • #14031
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      So the plan is to e-mail this out to all the contacts we have, all the people who’ve been to past conferences and also to do a mailshot to all the Welsh secondary schools ( need to add that to the plan).

       

      I’ve got the state/independent thing in there already.

    • #14032
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      Looks fine to me
      Would be good to know if they are HOD / been HOD or are they a KS3 leader for example

      Cerian

    • #14033
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      I’m rethinking your stste/independent idea because you said background. Maybe they’ve moved from state to independent. Or vice versa but that shouldn’t make a difference to these figures they still have to be registered with GTCW.

       

      Do we really need Q4 as it is? We might rejig ot to give the HoD or been Hod information and also see if they’ve gone up the management ladder, Maybe they’ve all become deputy heads.

    • #14034
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      Perhaps we should change Q4 to be “Which of these posts have you held?” and add in Senior Management. That will tell us if they’ve moved from Teacher to Deputy head etc. They may have gone the other way but they will still have to have been a teacher first.

    • #14035
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      3rd Draft for comment 

       

      * denotes complulsory question

      Questions

      1. *Please tell us which age range you fell into on 1st March 2014 (Buttons:(20-24)(25-29)(30-34)(35-39)(40-44)(45-49)(50-54)(55-59)(60-64)(65-69)(70+))
      2. *When was your month and year of birth? (Spaces for month and year)
      3. Gender – (Buttons) (Male) (Female) (Other – comment space) (Prefer not to say)
      4. *Are you registered with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW)? (Yes) (No) (Don’t know)(Not relevant – temporary arrangement)
      5. *Do you have QTS (qualified teacher status)(Yes) (No)
      6. What is the highest academic qualifications that you hold?  (Subject – comment box) Level (Doctorate) (Masters) (Degree) (Other – comment box)
      7. Institution where studied (Comment box)
      8. What professional qualifications do you hold? (BEd)(PGCE)(None)(Other – comment box)
      9. Institution where studied (Comment box)
      10. Year of award (Comment box)
      11. *Please provide details of the current or last school in which you taught in Wales, (All space) (School Name) and (Postcode) (County)
      12. *When did you last teach in this school? (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011) (2010) (Before 2010)
      13. What type of school/employer is this? (State), (Independent) (Supply Agency) (Other – comment box)
      14. Which of these post titles have you held? (Teacher) (Head of Department) (Supply Teacher) (Advisory Teacher) (Head of Faculty)(Senior Management) (Other relevant – comment)
      15. Are you employed (Full time) (Part time) (Supply)
      16. What proportion of your time table is spent teaching physics? (Comment box)
      17. Please provide your contact e-mail. (Comment box)
      18. Thank you for taking part in this survey.

       

      Shortened, four questions removed. Changed the time flow of the questions so it should sort of follow their experience. Thank you needs improving – look in RMiE.

      The questions lost are about the number in the science dept and how many teach physics. We don’t perhaps need these but they might have been useful if someone not a physicist had filled it in and might have pointed us to someone who hadn’t. Also the questions about what level they teach at and other subjects they teach. Level probably isn’t needed for this but knowing how many and who is teaching A level might have been handy. Other subjects might be useful if it had shown physics teachers teaching IT and electronics for instance. Might be better to put that back in with a change to available answer?

    • #14036
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      Draft  – for comment. Haven’t though  about other science teachers in the questions section. I think I’ll use Google forms to do the survey.

      Introduction (to the survey)

      The Institute of Physics (www.iop.org) is interested in the age distribution of those teaching physics in Wales. By taking part in this survey you will be helping to make sure Wales has an appropriate number of experienced physics teachers for the coming years. As part of this research we also intend to interview a small number of those taking part in this survey, so we hope you will provide contact details and consent. Those not selected for interview will have their contact details deleted to ensure anonymity. Findings of this research will be anonymised and then made available publicly and used to inform policy decisions.

      Please pass the link to this survey on to as many teachers of science who have taught in Wales in the last ten years as you can. The more informed we are, the more we can help.

       

      This survey consists of 21 questions and should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Compulsory questions are marked with an asterisk, *.

       

      I think this is done now. Use a permalink if you want to comment on this post specifically. Check time during trials.

    • #14037
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      I’ve put the questions in a spreadsheet and put each answer in a cell. I’ve colour coded answers more green if they’re “good” answers that we want and more red if they’re danger answers that indicate a problem. No questions have neither a red nor green answer in except:

      2 – but that’s there as a check on 1.

      3- but that’s there to look at any gender issues. We could remove it though.

      7 & 9 – be useful to know if they are from Wales though wouldn’t it?

      10 – but that’s also a check because it ought to tie in with age etc. It”ll show up those that have been retrained.

       

      Everything else we either want to be positive or we don’t want to be negative!

       

      Should we cut it down further?

      welsh_physics_teachers_questions_-_sheet1.pdf

    • #14039
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      Can’t remove 3 as we want to know if maternity is an issue.

    • #14040
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      Have you been employed in a profession unrelated to education?

      Have you taken a career break from teaching? 

      Number of years teaching?

    • #14041
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      Number of years teaching is a good one. Useful data and is a pointer towards the other two and possibly maternity leave.

    • #14042
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      Ruth Wiltsher has suggested number of years of teaching experience outside of Wales. So I’m thinking that after 15 we have:

      16. Total number of years teaching experience, whether full, part-time or supply (Comment box)

      17. Total number of years teaching experience in Wales, whether full, part-time or supply (Comment box)

       

      also the pen-ultimate screen and last question should be just an open comment box to ask for further feedback, concerns on the issue, on the survey (poor questions etc) or any other comments.

    • #14043
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      4th and possibly final draft?

       

      * denotes complulsory question

      Questions

      1. *Please tell us which age range you fell into on 1st March 2014 (Buttons:(20-24)(25-29)(30-34)(35-39)(40-44)(45-49)(50-54)(55-59)(60-64)(65-69)(70+))
      2. *When was your month and year of birth? (Spaces for month and year)
      3. Gender – (Buttons) (Male) (Female) (Other – comment space) (Prefer not to say)
      4. *Are you registered with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW)? (Yes) (No) (Don’t know)(Not relevant – temporary arrangement)
      5. *Do you have QTS (qualified teacher status)(Yes) (No)
      6. What is the highest academic qualifications that you hold?  (Subject – comment box) Level (Doctorate) (Masters) (Degree) (Other – comment box)
      7. *What professional qualifications do you hold? (BEd)(PGCE)(None)(Other – comment box)
      8. Institution where studied (Comment box)
      9. Year of award (Comment box)
      10. *Please provide details of the current or last school in which you taught in Wales, (All space) (School Name) and (Postcode) (County)
      11. *When did you last teach in this school? (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011) (2010) (Before 2010)
      12. What type of school/employer is this? (State), (Independent) (Supply Agency) (Other – comment box)
      13. Which of these post titles have you held? (Teacher) (Head of Department) (Supply Teacher) (Advisory Teacher) (Head of Faculty)(Senior Management) (Other relevant – comment)
      14. Are you employed (Full time) (Part time) (Supply)
      15. What proportion of your time table is spent teaching physics? (Comment box)
      16. Total number of years teaching experience, whether full, part-time or supply (Comment box)
      17. Total number of years teaching experience in Wales, whether full, part-time or supply (Comment box)
      18. Please provide your contact e-mail. (Comment box)
      19. Any other comments? (These might relate to the questions, recruitment, or any physics teaching related issue you would like to raise.) ( Comment box)
      20. Thank you for taking part in this survey.

       

      I’ve left in the one institution question as knowing where they did their teacher training might be useful. I shall try and put some questions together on the same screen where appropriate.

    • #14044
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      There’s a trial version of the questions here:

       

      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1H2Hial6oboEj-Sh-H__pmYKTZ8RISKFUpti6SpLU5GQ/viewform

       

      Please feel free to have a go and make comments. There’s a few things to tinker with but it’s not bad.

    • #14045
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      Need to add something about testing across platforms because it came up in the pilot and it never crossed my mind.

    • #14046
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      Getting it out there:

      1. PTNC
      2. talkphysics
      3. CAPT
      4. Paul Roche
      5. PGCE tutors
      6. WJEC
      7. University Physics Depts
      8. Science Made Simple
      9. IOP Wales
      10. Network Coordinators
      11. Mailshot with adverts for Brecon and Bangor
      12. Brecon and Bangor
      13. Spaceguard Centre
      14. LEAs?
      15. Facebook
      16. Twitter
      17. Techniquest
      18. Careers Wales
    • #14047
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      I’ve shut the survey today and will start looking at the data.

      1. The survey ran from 3/4/2014 to 17/12/2014. The last data was entered on 10/22/2014.
      2. First thing to do is weed out duplicate entries. The raw data was copied into a new sheet and sorted by school. All those entries that appeared to be the same were removed. It is possible that two teachers from the same school answered questions in the same way (though not very likely) but less likely that they would have the same contact details, if they entered them. Where it was obvious that the entried were the same any comments were put together so none werre lost. Then the data was sorted by contact details and duplicates removed, this got rid of one entry. The data was then sorted by month and year of birth and further duplicates removed.
      3. Sorting by GTCW registered leaves 98 entries, 57% of the total.
      4. Plotting these figures gives a graph that shows a dip in the age range. So contacting people who have completed the survey and left details and asking if they know the whereabout of any of these “missing” staff is one follow up. There also seems to be more older physics teachers than the GTCW have registered. It could be that these people are not registered as physics teachers but as management? We need to e-mail GTCW and ask about this as well as e-mail folk who filled in the form.
      5. We need to create categories and code concerns in the comments as well.
      6. We need to e-mail the people with contact information and ask them if they know of anyone who left. Some contact data is mobile phone…
      7. We also need to e-mail more widely to try and track these leavers down. All of which should be left to after Xmas.
    • #14048
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      Something Peter Main said has triggered a thought. It might be that the drop in the 35-39 age group corresponds to teachers moving to tertiary colleges after the school they were teaching in had it’s VIth form shut.

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