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New government funding announced for science teaching

08/12/2016 Kelly

New funding has been announced by the Department for Education to support the teaching of science in schools.

An additional £12.1 million will be spent between now and 2019 to fund continued professional development for science teachers, support schools to share best practice, and offer tailored in-school support to enhance the teaching of scientific disciplines.

The programme will be delivered through a network of national science learning partnerships and will also aim to support schools in their efforts to encourage more teenagers to take GCSE triple science - physics, chemistry and biology.

This announcement coincides with the publication of the latest OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report for 2015, which demonstrated the current strong performance of England's schools in science teaching, exceeding the OECD average in these subjects.

It also showed that pupils in England typically receive greater opportunities in science lessons to explain their ideas, draw conclusions from an experiment and conduct investigations than those in other high-performing countries.

Additionally, 28 per cent of teenagers in England say they hope to be working in a science-related career by the age of 30 - a significant increase compared to 16 per cent in 2006. Meanwhile, 68 per cent believe their science lessons are helping to prepare them for life post-education, and 71 per cent think it will help them to get a job when they leave school - significantly higher than the OECD average.

Schools standards minister Nick Gibb said: "We are determined to give all young people the world-class education they need to fulfil their potential. It is encouraging to see so many young people setting their ambitions high, as we know science is valued by employers and is linked to higher earnings."

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