Devizes man Mike Adams has been awarded a £20,000 Scholarship by the Institute of Physics (IOP) to help him train as a physics teacher.

Education Secretary Michael Gove attended a celebration last Thursday and spoke to institute’s 100 hand-picked scholars. “As the first cohort of IOP scholars, you are at the forefront of a revolution in physics education,” he said.

“Gradually, year on year, we are seeing numbers of students choosing to take physics increase; while we also see record numbers attracted into physics teaching in order to pass on their passion for physics.

“Every student in the country is entitled to be taught physics by an enthusiastic, inspiring teacher. A good education in physics grants opportunities that too many students have, historically, been unfairly deprived.”

The celebration marked the beginning of Mr Adam’s new career in teaching as he prepares to start his teacher training this month at Reading University.

The 46-year-old shone through a range of tests, undertaken during the last school year, set especially by IOP to assess his suitability for physics teaching.

Following careers in both software engineering and professional photography, Mr Adams has decided to return to the subject he loves – physics.

He said: “I am first of all very passionate about my subject, physics, which is endlessly fascinating, and I enjoy combining working with people and working in the technical and scientific arena. I love the energy of young people and think that working with them will be a very rewarding experience.”

The latest A-level results showed the sixth consecutive year of increases in entry to physics A-level examinations, reflecting improvements in physics education in classrooms across the country, as well as the popular resurgence in appreciation for physics, which has been dubbed the Brian Cox effect.

The IOP scholarship is a further measure brought about to raise classroom standards by attracting high-achieving graduates in to physics teaching via a £2m partnership between IOP and the Department for Education.

Peter Knight, president of the IOP, said: “Mike will, I’m sure, inspire thousands of young minds over the course of his teaching career. We wish all of the scholars the best of luck as they embark on their first term of teacher training.”