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Primary Schools (Science Teaching)

Volume 77: debated on Wednesday 24 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has to enable primary school teachers to improve science teaching in primary schools; and what resources he intends to allocate for this purpose.

The Department and the Welsh Office have recently published "Science 5–16: A statement of policy", which sets out the Government's views on future developments in science education in primary and secondary schools. It sets as objectives that all pupils should be properly introduced to science in the primary school and that all class teachers in primary schools, without exception, should include at least some science in their teaching, making use of their colleagues' specialist knowledge and experience as necessary.The policy statement calls for a sustained and cooperative effort under the leadership of the LEAs to meet those objectives, and describes some of the action being taken at the national level to assist that effort. For example, primary science is to be one of the areas within the education support grant scheme. Fifty-two LEAs in England will receive education support grant from September 1985 to support three-year programmes of action to improve the effectiveness and relevance of primary science teaching. Total expenditure in these LEAs over the three years will be some £10 million, and an extension of the primary science education support grant scheme in 1986–87 is under consideration. The Association for Science Education is being commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the primary science ESG programmes, to disseminate information about successful practice and to draw up guidelines for future developments. Primary science is also one of the fields receiving support under the inservice teacher training grants scheme. These and other developments at the national level are matched by substantial and rapidly growing interest at the local level, with many significant initiatives under way.