Press release

A brighter future for science in schools

Jointly issued with the Department for Education and Skills

Plans for an innovative national network of science learning centres will be announced today (10/12) by Education and Skills Secretary Charles Clarke and Wellcome Trust Director, Mike Dexter, at Greycoats School in Westminster, London.

The Department for Education and Skills and the Wellcome Trust have come together to deliver their joint vision of excellence in science teaching, and will invest more than £50 million over the next 10 years.

The learning centres will provide high quality continuing professional development for teachers and technicians in a move beyond the traditional 'test tube and text book' approach to science lessons.

Speaking at the school, Charles Clarke said:

"It is essential that we build a society in which the impact of science is understood and appreciated by young people. To do this we must enhance teachers' skills to capture the excitement of science and make it relevant to pupils of all ages and abilities."

"By offering high quality continuing professional development to both teachers and technicians, we will not only boost the morale and attainment levels of the profession, but will also enthuse young people into staying on to study science post-16."

"I look forward to working closely with the Wellcome Trust on achieving these goals."

Dr Mike Dexter said:

"I think it is really important for teachers to have an opportunity to find out what's new and exciting in their field, especially for science where the pace of scientific discovery is so fast."

"We all agree that teachers are important role models and a source of inspiration for the subjects they teach. By giving science teachers the chance to update their knowledge and skills, they will be able to pass on enthusiasm, new knowledge and fresh ideas to pupils. I hope that many of those pupils will then go on to follow a career in science, a career which I have found fascinating and compelling."