Physics teacher Mr Tom Squire standing outside Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre
OP Teachers of Physics Awards 2023 winner Mr Tom Squire

Tom studied at the University of Birmingham and graduated with a Physics BSc in 2017. He is now Deputy Head of Science at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre.

The IOP Teachers of Physics Awards celebrate outstanding classroom practice in the teaching of physics and recognise the success of secondary school teachers in the UK and Ireland who, by their dedication and excellence in the classroom, have raised the state of physics teaching in their school.

Understanding and enjoying science can lead to a rewarding career, to improved analytical thinking skills, a life-long interest or all of these. An inspiring teacher is crucial to supporting this.

Physics and physicists have a vital role to play in solving some of the 21st century’s biggest challenges, such as responding to climate change, ensuring personal and online security and supporting an ageing population. Without dedicated physics teachers we would have far less physics-based research and industry, and the world would not benefit from the contributions made by physicists to the continually expanding knowledge of the world in which we live.

The IOP is the UK and Ireland’s professional body for physicists. Its members come from across the physics community, including academia, research, industry, and education.

Committed to working with teachers of physics at all levels, and across the schools landscape, the IOP has a strong track record of supporting teaching in schools: from its teacher training scholarship programme and comprehensive programme of ongoing professional development, to online teacher support and resources.

I am delighted to be recognising and applauding Mr Squires. Each of this year’s winners has, through their skill and personal commitment, made a significant positive difference to the teaching of physics in their school, the student experience and the level of student achievement. On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I warmly congratulate all of them and thank them for their dedication to their students, their school and their subject.

Chris Shepherd, Teacher Recruitment & Retention Manager, IOP

I am so proud of Tom’s achievements since he joined Hillcrest in 2018. The teaching of Physics has gone from strength to strength during this time. His dedication to our school community through the development of the physics curriculum and extra-curricular activities has been phenomenal. He has played a significant role in our students’ success and progression on to physics and related higher education opportunities and careers. He thoroughly deserves the recognition that this prestigious award brings.

Ms Julie-Ann Davies, Headteacher at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre

It is an honour to have received this award and been recognised by the Institute of Physics. I would like to thank colleagues from Hillcrest School and from across Birmingham for their support in my career to date. It is an absolute pleasure to work with the students at Hillcrest School.

Mr Tom Squire, Deputy Head of Science at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre

Mr Squires receives a prize of £1,000; a paperweight award and a certificate.