In her letter about Hoare Lea’s Adopt a School campaign (BSj 07/08), Natasha Craig does a laudable job for her employer, and makes a valid point on the “get them early” policy.
But she misses a more crucial point: you need physics knowledge and ability if you want to become an engineer. Has she seen the latest report from the University of Buckingham on the supply and retention of teachers in physics? It is depressing reading!
In its opening paragraph it states that “it is widely recognised that physics specialists are underrepresented among school science teachers”. How many of our membesr were taught physics by non-physics science teachers?
And the report emphasises that the situation is getting worse. Indeed, physics student numbers at A level and undergraduate level are continuing to decline.
Unless engineering institutions, such as CIBSE, start to press for more physics promotion in schools, then there will not be many candidates for Ms Craig to approach, nor for employers to entice into our industry.
Ken McDougal, Fellow, Birmingham
Building Sustainable Design