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Royal Society calls for science shake-up in schools

17/02/2011 Joanna
The Royal Society has argued that pupils need to be given a broader scientific training after the age of 16.

At present, those in teaching jobs in England and Wales are able to teach A-level courses in individual sciences, namely biology, chemistry and physics.

However, the scientific body has argued that this rigidity is restricting the number of youngsters going on to study science at university level, largely as it ensures that relatively few pick the two sciences that many course providers ask for.

As such, it has called for the A-level system, which it says is "not fit for purpose", to be replaced by a Baccalaureate-style qualification, with such a move tipped to improve not only educational standards but also the country as a whole.

"At a time of economic uncertainty, when science and scientists can play a key role in revitalising the UK's financial outlook, it is deeply worrying to find that numbers of A-level science students are at such low levels," Professor Dame Athene Donald, who chairs the Royal Society's education committee said.

Additionally, the organisation has revealed that around 49 per cent of Scottish pupils take science after the age of 16, compared with just 27 per cent of English students.

Posted by Theo Foulds
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