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Should We Pay Physics Teachers More Than Other Teachers?

24 September 2017

The country has a shortage of physics teachers. It’s long-standing, it appears to be endemic, it isn’t getting better. So, what to do?

One mooted solution is to pay every physics teacher a “bonus” amount in order to gain and retain them in the profession.

When asked, around half of teachers said they were happy with physics teachers getting at least some extra cash. In particular, people liked the £3,000 bonus amount. This was picked at twice the rate of a £1,000 or £10,000 bonus. (Is this because top-up ‘TLR’ payments have long been around this level?)

Next, we wondered does this change if you are in a struggling school? We found…

…Apparently, not so much. Schools with very disadvantaged intakes were slightly more willing to pay top dollar but the profile of the most advantaged schools was very similar to the most disadvantaged school on this one.

So what? Given the closeness of results and seeing as we’re working with small samples at this point (around 550 teachers), there’s not really anything to read into the results on this one as yet. But it suggests there may be some wiggle room to pay very shortage teachers a little bit more.

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