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Teachers

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many physics teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level physics and (B) a degree in physics; (136882)

(2) how many chemistry teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level chemistry and (B) a degree in chemistry;

(3) how many biology teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level biology, (B) a degree in biology and (C) a degree in biological sciences;

(4) how many mathematics teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level mathematics and (B) a degree in mathematics.

In 2005 the Department commissioned research about mathematics and science teachers from the National Foundation for Education Research. The report, entitled ‘Mathematics and Science in Secondary Schools: The Deployment of Teachers and Support Staff to Deliver the Curriculum’, can be found on the Department's website at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR708.pdf.

The research included a survey of a representative sample of 40 per cent. of secondary schools in England. Projections were made of the total number of teachers in secondary schools in England delivering the mathematics and science curriculums. The findings also included distributions of the teachers by age and by highest qualification in the subject being taught.

Mathematics

The research found that there were an estimated 27,400 teachers teaching mathematics in secondary schools in England, of whom an estimated 21,100 were mathematics specialists1 including 11,700 with a degree in mathematics. The following table shows the distribution of mathematics teachers in terms of their mathematics qualifications. The teachers are counted once against their highest qualification in mathematics. For example, if an individual holds a degree and a PGCE in maths, they are counted in the figures for “degree in maths”; if an individual holds a PGCE in maths but a degree in another subject, they are counted against “PGCE incorporating maths”.

1 A “specialist” is defined as holding a degree in or incorporating maths, or having studied maths at initial teacher training.

Highest post-A-level qualification held by mathematics teachers in the sample

Highest qualification in mathematics

Teachers of mathematics

Number

Percentage

Degree in maths

1,335

42

B.Sc or BA with QTS or B.Ed in maths

524

16

Cert Ed incorporating maths

193

6

PGCE incorporating maths

583

18

Other post-A-level maths qualification

140

4

A-Level maths

189

6

No post-16 maths qualification

251

8

No response

5

<1

Total

3,220

100

Due to rounding, percentages may not sum to 100 Source: NFER survey of teachers of mathematics, 2005.

The following table provides a breakdown of the age profile of mathematics teachers by their highest post-A-level qualification in maths.

Age range of mathematics teachers in the sample by their highest post-A-level qualification in maths

Percentage

Age

Under 25

25 to 29

30 to 39

40 to 49

50 to 59

60+

Degree in maths

7

18

26

23

24

2

B.Ed/QTS in maths

3

8

25

34

28

2

Cert Ed in maths

0

0

0

14

80

6

PGCE in maths

4

19

35

28

14

1

Other post-A-level maths qualification

8

24

26

24

18

1

No post-A-level maths qualification

3

8

17

29

42

<1

Total

5

15

25

26

28

2

Notes:

1. Base: 3,036

2. Due to rounding, percentages may not sum to 100.

Source:

NFER survey of teachers of mathematics, 2005

Science

The research found that there were an estimated 31,000 teachers teaching science in secondary schools in England, of whom an estimated 28,800 were specialists2 in science. This included an estimated 13,700 biology specialists, 7,900 chemistry specialists, 5,800 physics specialists and 1,400 other science specialists.

The following table shows the breakdown of the samples of science teachers in terms of their qualifications in science. As before, individuals are shown against their highest qualification, so if an individual holds a degree in chemistry and a PGCE in science, they are included in the figures for “degree in chemistry”. However, if an individual holds a first degree in biology followed by a masters degree in biochemistry they are counted in the “degree in biology” category as “school sciences” take priority.

2 A “specialist” is defined as holding a degree in or incorporating the relevant science, or having studied the relevant science at initial teacher training.

Highest post-A-level qualification held by science teachers in the sample

Highest qualification in sciences

Teachers of science

Number

Percentage

Degree in Biology

753

27

Degree in Chemistry

440

16

Degree in Physics

279

10

Degree in general science

158

6

Degree in other science

415

15

B.Sc or BA with QTS or B.Ed in science

311

11

Cert Ed incorporating science

109

4

PGCE incorporating science

184

7

Other post-A-level science qualification

49

2

A-level science

29

1

No post-16 science qualification

27

1

No response

2

<1

Total

2,756

100

Note:

Due to founding, percentages may not sum to 100.

Source:

NFER survey of teachers of science, 2005.

The “degree in biology” category can be disaggregated further and the next table shows the proportion of teachers holding a biology-related degree.

Type of degree in biology held by science teachers whose highest post-A-level qualification in science was a degree in biologyType of degreeTeachers of scienceNumberPercentageBA/BSc Biology34012BA/BSc Biology related (e.g. botany, zoology)27810BA/BSc Biology and science related723BA/BSc Biology and non-science related281MA/MSc Biology482MA/MSc Other science subject1271DPhil/PhD Biology401DPhil/PhD Other science subject16<1Total75327 1 “Other science subject” includes medical-related sciences, biochemistry, environmental science, etc—see section 6.3.5Note:Multiple response question: respondents could give more than one degree, therefore percentages may not sum to 27.Source:NFER surveys of science teachers, 2005.

The following table provides a breakdown of the age profile of science teachers by their highest post-A-level qualification in science.

Age range of science teachers by highest post-A-level qualification in science

Percentage

Age range

Degree in biology

Degree in chemistry

Degree in physics

Degree in general science

Degree in other science

B.Ed/QTS in science

PGCE in science

Cert Ed in science

All science teachers

Under 25

6

5

8

3

7

7

4

0

6

25-29

27

18

13

11

26

14

18

0

20

30-39

29

31

26

23

32

16

34

1

27

40-49

23

24

27

31

20

27

30

16

24

50-59

15

21

24

30

14

32

15

77

22

60+

<1

1

2

2

<1

4

0

6

1

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Note:

Base: 2,597 (results for “other post-A-level qualification” in science and “no post-A-level qualification” in science not shown)

Source:

NFER survey of science teachers, 2005.

The Department has commissioned a 2007 Secondary School Curriculum and Staffing Survey and fieldwork was completed before Easter. The survey will provide more up to date information on the qualifications of teachers delivering all subjects in secondary schools. A report will be published during the summer.