Question - non specialist teaching science 15 hours - September

As title.

What are ths problems with this happening? is there a question of insurance for practical work? I'm trying to helpful with gain time in July offering time in the preproom to do practical work and of course all the basic science issues.

Best

Richard Yorke.
 

STEMTech

Dave
We have a system whereby a technician does any demos until the teacher has the necessary familiarity with the equipment as deemed by his line manager. After 3 successful demos or practicals the teacher can do it but can have a technician present to help out if they want.
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
We invite all staff to book and complete under our supervision any practical they're not sure about or haven't done before or done it in ages etc.

This is not optional for new science staff and is monitored if they're asking to come see pracs before they're due to do them
 
We have a system whereby a technician does any demos until the teacher has the necessary familiarity with the equipment as deemed by his line manager. After 3 successful demos or practicals the teacher can do it but can have a technician present to help out if they want.
Do they need a science PSCG to do practical science?
 
I have found that very few non specialists want to do practicals. Some PE teachers are comfortable with a bit of Biology and we have had a maths teacher who is ok with some of the Physics. If you start talking about risk assessments and Hazcards when they book a practical I find that most non specialists run for the hills. It isn't great for the students who miss out on a lot of practical science, but it is definitely preferable to your nerves and sanity!

Having said that beware if they are keen, as these are the ones that tend to think that room full of year 7s with fire and chemicals is a bit of a laugh and there is no risk.
:omg::safety::ra:
 
They need to risk assess the practical. No risk assessment = no credibility in court should something go wrong. Sadly many teachers think they are immune to responsibility as they can blame the technicians or resort to their unions.

Our job as technicians is to advise and help them, but ultimately (and legally) it is the employer's responsibility to ensure they are competent enough to carry out their job safely.
 
I don't know about the insurance side of things, but there is a CLEAPSS document that addresses this: PS038 - Training of science staff, the use of non-science specialists in secondary school science, and the use of cover teachers in laboratories.

It doesn't have the specifics of the training required, but there are also documents on health and safety training for new science teachers (PS021) and various sections of G238 (it may not all be relevant if they are only teaching lower years). That might help provide a more specific set of guidance, and has the bonus that it may make it clear that there is actually a lot of work involved in getting non-specialists up to speed.

On a more day-to-day basis, make sure they book with you to run through any practicals they want to do. Also, make sure they are properly requesting practicals (and doing risk assessments) as per the rest of the department, even if they are often not in science.
 
I don't know about the insurance side of things, but there is a CLEAPSS document that addresses this: PS038 - Training of science staff, the use of non-science specialists in secondary school science, and the use of cover teachers in laboratories.

It doesn't have the specifics of the training required, but there are also documents on health and safety training for new science teachers (PS021) and various sections of G238 (it may not all be relevant if they are only teaching lower years). That might help provide a more specific set of guidance, and has the bonus that it may make it clear that there is actually a lot of work involved in getting non-specialists up to speed.

On a more day-to-day basis, make sure they book with you to run through any practicals they want to do. Also, make sure they are properly requesting practicals (and doing risk assessments) as per the rest of the department, even if they are often not in science.
We are very on top of H&S. Lablogger reviewed. I would like to think my word is heard in the school. Also made it very clear about them being 'competent ' and 'safe'

I'll have to look into insurances etc..if there ever was a issue.

Cheers
 
We had non-specialist teachers before and generally they don't want to do practicals. The PE staff we had teaching KS3 were happy doing some biology demos and we had a maths teacher who did a few physics demos, but not much else.
We'll prep what they order and talk them through how we'll prep it and any risks, etc, but their training and assessment of their competence is down to the HoF or teaching staff to do.
 
We've actually had a PE teacher teaching science full time for the last 2 years. KS3 first year. A national rule is that all teachers can be expected to teach KS3. This year she also has KS4 classes. We also have 3 other non-specialists teaching KS3. I argue that is it the HOD's job to make sure the teachers are competent to teach all aspect of the course including practicals. All teachers here will assist when help is needed and as technicians we always offer assistance when asked for. If the practical is deemed hazardous we ask the teacher if they wish to trial it. Sometimes they have already been to a sci teacher, sometimes they trial the experiment. On the whole the part timers tend not to do hazardous practicals
 
Next year, due to maternity leave and our bio teacher moving miles away, we are getting a teach first and one of ou PE dept is going to be teaching KS3 biology. Not bothered about the PE teacher, she is lovely but teach first are hard work and I have been given the task of helping her with practical requisitions which translated means going through and every practical required with her
 
Next year, due to maternity leave and our bio teacher moving miles away, we are getting a teach first and one of ou PE dept is going to be teaching KS3 biology. Not bothered about the PE teacher, she is lovely but teach first are hard work and I have been given the task of helping her with practical requisitions which translated means going through and every practical required with her

Well, look at the bright side...at least she already knows how to use a stopwatch.
 
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