The characteristics of and earnings and outcomes for physics teachers

Document type
Allen, Rebecca; Sibieta, Luke; Vignoles, Anna
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
23 March 2018
Briefing Note; BN226
Employment, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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Teaching is not a popular destination for physics teachers. Only around 3% of physics graduates enter teaching in the first few years after graduation. In mathematics, by contrast, more than one in ten graduates become teachers in the years immediately after graduation.

Physics teachers are, on average, as well qualified as other teachers, at least as measured by their prior attainment level on entry into university (UCAS tariff points).

Physics graduates have better outside options in the labour market and generally earn more than graduates with many other degree subjects. However, despite this we find no evidence that schools are paying physics teachers more than teachers in non-shortage subjects.

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