The Commons Science and Technology Committee today publishes the Government’s response to its report on school science lessons and science field trips.
Andrew Miller MP, chair of the Committee, said,
"It is hugely disappointing that on such an important issue as this—inspiring the next generation of scientists—the Government has failed to accept many of the recommendations in our report.
"There has been no commitment that Ofqual will direct exam boards to require a fieldwork component to science courses and to assess properly students’ practical skills. This would be a key incentive for schools to take practical science seriously.
"We also called on the Government to establish a central facility to contain guidance on standard experiments; to enable a better career structure for technical staff to be put in place; to ensure that Ofsted reports on training opportunities for science teachers; and to set out a programme demonstrating what Ministers are doing to encourage students to choose science courses. The Government has either not addressed or has simply rejected these recommendations.
"We must make science an exciting subject to study and an obvious route to future employment; the Government agrees with this but has failed to show us how it will address the poor practical science experiences of many students.
"As a Committee we will continue to monitor developments in this area but the science community needs to make their own case and, if they support the Committee’s recommendations, to make that known to Ministers."