Stimulating Physics Network - delivery partner contract awarded to STEM Learning

By Steve Castle posted 26-07-2021 13:10


Many of you will know that the Institute of Physics (IOP) has been managing the DfE-funded Stimulating Physics Network (SPN) since 2009. The primary purpose of the SPN is to support schools in increasing the number of pupils progressing to A level physics.

As the IOP moves to the implementation phase of its ambitious strategy "Unlocking the future", it is changing some of the ways in which it works in partnership with other organisations. One example of this is its decision to retain oversight of the SPN while inviting tenders for its hands-on delivery to be managed by a best-fit provider.

We’re pleased to announce that, after a full tender process, delivery of the SPN Physics Support for Schools has been awarded to STEM Learning. As a well-established and respected provider of science CPD and other key programmes, we are proud to have been awarded this esteemed contract. The SPN will run alongside support delivered through our existing network of Science Learning Partnerships and at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, and aligns well with our broader STEM portfolio. 

Both STEM Learning and the IoP are looking forward to this opportunity to work together to achieve their common goals in improving science education and attainment for young people, ultimately leading to a stronger physics workforce. The SPN will continue to complement the IOP's Physics programme, which focuses on the environment of the physical sciences, from nurturing skills for the future and retaining our physicists to supporting a vibrant physics industry, and including its flagship "Limit Less" campaign, which addresses the societal as well as education barriers that lead to underrepresentation of girls as well as young people from the Black community, lower socio-economic backgrounds, LGBT and disabilities in studying physics, or beginning a physics-based apprenticeship, from age 16.

The transition of SPN Physics Support for Schools will take effect from 1 September 2021 and will provide sustained mentoring, coaching and CPD for 50 lead schools and 350 partner schools between September 2021 and March 2022. Engagement in the network will increase pupil progression to A level physics, with a focus on improving physics teaching knowledge – including substantive content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.

The Institute of Physics has also released its own statement on this announcement.