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Wales announces network of excellence for science and technology

11/01/2017 Joanna

The Welsh government has announced plans to establish a national network of excellence for science and technology, with the aim of raising standards of teaching in these subjects in Welsh schools.

Aiming to improve teachers' skills in science and technology and improve pupil experiences of the subjects while they are at school, the network will draw together the latest knowledge on teaching practices for three to 18-year-olds, with more than £4 million available in funding support.

Efforts will be made to coordinate the development and delivery of recognised science and technology professional development for teachers, based on global and local evidence of best practice standards, while schools will be encouraged to work together to develop courses, teaching resources and class-based research.

Schools will also be given opportunities to collaborate with the science and technology departments of universities, education consortia, further education bodies and other experts to learn more about improved teaching models.

Overall, the work on building this network will support the Welsh government's objective of improving science and technology attainment standards among local children, positioning them to contribute positively to the country's economic development for years to come.

The government is already investing more than £1.6 million in 2016-17 to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching, with a shift in focus from BTEC to GCSE qualifications in these areas also forming part of this work.

Kirsty Williams said: "Our aim in science is more than an ability to undertake simple experiments or remember basic concepts, but for our young people to be able to reason scientifically and understand the value of scientific approaches.

"Our new curriculum is being designed to better integrate these approaches into teaching and learning, and this network of excellence will help us improve the skills and knowledge of our teaching workforce to the benefit of all our pupils."

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