Graduates wanting to become science teachers are much more likely to have a biology degree than chemistry or physics, a report by the Wellcome Trust has found.
Researchers warned that Government plans to stop funding for trainee teachers who do not have at least a 2:2 degree could have serious consequences on the recruitment of sufficient numbers of physics teachers in future. At the moment, only 36 per cent of PGCE courses require a 2:2 for entry.
Although the training requirement for science teachers is to teach across the sciences in key stage 3 and their own subject to GCSE level, many schools require potential trainees to be able to teach all sciences to GCSE level.
The researchers concluded that, while initial teacher training courses were a sound basis for helping trainees learn about the subject and how to teach key topics, it was unrealistic to expect trainees to be secure in all subjects after just one year.
This year, there has been a 31 per cent rise in the number of people enrolled on initial teacher training (ITT) physics courses, up from 656 to 864, according to the Training and Development Agency for Schools.