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Mathematics And Science

Volume 80: debated on Tuesday 11 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will seek to make provision within future core curriculum proposals for quantitative standards of timetable provision for mathematics and for science subjects; and if he will make a statement.

The Cockroft committee stated in its report that the average amount of time allocated specifically to mathematics in junior classes and the time allowance for mathematics usually found in secondary schools were adequate, although it recommended that consideration should be given to the way in which this time was distributed within the timetable.The average figure for science activities by the end of the primary phase is about 5 per cent, of lesson time. The Department's recent statement of policy on science five-16 suggests that a broad science curriculum for all pupils should occupy about 10 per cent. of total curriculum time in the first two secondary years, rising to a maximum of 20 per cent. in years four and five.The effectiveness with which the limited total teaching time is used in schools is of course central to the Government's policies for improving standards.