These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Improving science teacher retention: do National STEM Learning Network professional development courses keep science teachers in the classroom?

The Wellcome Trust commissioned the research reported here with two aims: to develop a greater understanding of science teacher retention; and to test whether there is any link between subject specific CPD delivered by the National STEM Learning Network and likelihood to stay in the profession.

The research shows that science teachers are indeed more likely to leave the profession than similar non-science teachers – this is particularly true for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and particularly NQTs with physics or engineering degrees. Much evidence has been gathered that shows the positive impact of CPD delivered by the National STEM Learning Network on science teaching and student outcomes. This research reveals an additional benefit of much improved teacher retention. This gives a good return on investing in CPD – that is, the teachers who have benefited from these courses stay in the profession for longer. But importantly, this powerful finding also suggests that if all science teachers accessed National STEM Learning Network CPD then retention would significantly improve, and without it workforce shortages could have been a lot worse.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.