The sky’s the limit with STEM subjects in the UK
We seem to have been thinking about STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) a lot recently. This may be because physics, chemistry and maths teachers are in short supply in the UK. The numbers are even more alarming when the spotlight focuses on females, post 16, studying STEM subjects, despite success at GCSE (girls often outperform boys in the majority of STEM GCSE subjects) the numbers of girls carrying on in STEM A levels are drastically reduced. Whilst females accounted for just over 40% of upgrades in maths and physics last year, they accounted for only 18% in computer science and 15% in engineering.
This is in spite of the efforts of enthusiastic STEM advocates such as Dr Nira Chamberlain, one of the UK’s top scientists. In his day job, Chamberlain’s role involves writing algorithms to help solve complex industrial problems. In his ‘spare time’ Chamberlain devised his own, calculator free, method of long multiplication. He is also committed to encouraging young people to consider a science education and career.
The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory
One of Chamberlain’s recurring themes is his love of maths and the beauty of the subject. He sees its mystery as a personal challenge, and the subsequent struggle to be rewarding. He says that solving difficult mathematical problems can be “like fighting an invisible boxer, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”.
“She sees maths everywhere she looks”
We recently introduced an overseas-trained maths specialist to one of our client schools in England. We were delighted to read the interview feedback, which focused on this teacher’s charisma, fluency and inspirational character. The interviewer could see the candidate’s passion for her subject, and said: “she sees maths everywhere she looks, every minute of every day and finds it useful in every aspect of her life. In short, she is exactly the sort of teacher I would like to have in my classroom”.
The good news is that as a specialist recruiter with a global focus, Pertemps Education is committed to finding STEM stars for our client schools. With over 20 years’ experience, we can also help with any of your questions about working in UK schools, and anything related to your relocation.