Enthusing Teachers to Boost A’Level Science

A new report published today by the National Science Learning Centre shows that ‘Project Enthuse’, a £30 million partnership between Government, industry and the Wellcome Trust, has had a positive impact on science teaching in the UK.

Project Enthuse provides bursaries of up to £1800 to support science teachers and science technicians attending residential courses at the Regional and National Science Learning Centres. The bursaries cover the cost of fees, travel and accomodation but also the cost to the teacher’s school of providing lesson cover; a major factor cited by schools and teachers as prohibiting staff accessing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities.

90% of those who have attended courses since the launch of Project Enthuse in 2008 have indicated that the experience has had a positive impact on themselves, on their schools or on their pupils. If more heads allowed teachers to attend, the report indicates, science exam grades and the number of students opting for post-16 and triple-award science could receive a dramatic boost.

An increase in tuition fees to maintain the science base…

Speaking at the launch of the report, Professor John Holman, Director of the National Science Learning Centre and Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, commented that the cap on university student tuition fees must be lifted to provide the high quality scientists needed by the UK. He said that it was difficult to see how the quality of education in universities could be maintained if a significant financial boost was not provided. The UK Government is due to launch a review of student tuition fees later this year, which will report following the next general election.

Source: Wellcome Trust and the Independent