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Our New Year’s Message and the launch of #SciTeacherSOS

3 January 2018

Our New Year’s Message and the launch of #SciTeacherSOS

As you come back from the festive break, there can be a sinking feeling at the prospect of more lesson planning, endless meetings and the not so far off shadow of the exam season and whether you will meet your performance targets. You would be forgiven for thinking “How will I cope with all this?”

The truth is you have stayed whilst some colleagues have left – and you are in no way alone if you are thinking of leaving teaching. Although no subjects are immune, science is particularly affected. Research has shown that the odds of science teachers leaving their school within five years are 26% higher than for similar non-science teachers*. ASE has written before on the problem of a squeezed workforce amidst rising pupil numbers.

As we seek to address the wide and varied issues affecting the whole of the profession, there is still little help available for us at the individual human, non-school-policy-system level.

So our New Year’s resolution is both a simple and an ambitious one – it is for no science teacher to feel isolated and to think that leaving the profession is their only option.

We’ve created a short non-judgemental document called the Science Teacher SOS, which helps you to explore your reasons for wanting to leave and offers advice at different levels depending on your role within school.

If you, a friend or a colleague feel that you are at the point where you are considering leaving teaching altogether, we want you to know that we understand and that we are here to provide support.

We have created this booklet to help you consider your position; and will support you in whatever decision you make.

I would like to thank the ASE 11-19 Committee and particularly ASE member, Dr Andy Chandler-Grevatt, Teaching Fellow, University of Sussex for putting together this helpful document. 

Shaun Reason, Chief Executive

Download the SOS document (PDF)

The guide is freely available. As a charity with a Royal Charter, ASE is owned by its members, independent of government and therefore a powerful voice for science education; we are a grass-roots network. If you would like to support our work in this area, donate or join ASE to be part of the #SciTeacherSOS campaign.

Find out more at the following workshop Work Smarter, Not Harder: Managing workload and retention of science teachers S25 Saturday 6th January 09.30am at the ASE Annual Conference 2018