WALES: Welsh schools in science rap; Drive to lift teaching standards urged.
Byline: By TOM BODDEN Welsh Affairs Correspondent
A CRITICAL report by schools' inspectors yesterday called for better training for teachers to improve standards in science in secondary schools.
A study by the inspections body Estyn revealed standards were lower in science than in almost all other subject at secondary level, especially at GCSE GCSE
1. (in Britain) General Certificate of Secondary Education; an examination in specified subjects which replaced the GCE O level and CSE
2. Informal a pass in a GCSE examination
Noun 1. , but also in sixth form.
The quality of teaching for 14-19 year olds was also classed as 'generally worse'.
The findings came despite the Welsh Assembly Government The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) (Welsh: Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru, LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of the First Minister and his Cabinet from 1999 to 2007. drawing up a science vision for Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. in 2006, which stated improvements in science education was key to overcoming shortages in those studying more advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The last six chief inspector's of schools annual reports highlighted low standards in science in secondary schools compared to other subjects, compared with primary schools, where pupils' achievement in science is among the best.
The report called for greater co-operation between schools to offer a wider range of opportunities in science for learners of all abilities and interests.
Estyn also urges the Assembly Government to secure more training opportunities for teachers who do not specialise in physics and to review incentives to encourage the recruitment and retention of qualified physics teachers.
The Assembly Government should 'develop a national strategy to drive up standards and the quality of teaching and leadership in science', it said.
Janet Janet: see Clouet, Jean.
JANET - Joint Academic NETwork Pritchard from the college of education at Bangor university Bangor University (Welsh: Prifysgol Bangor) is a university based in the city of Bangor in the county of Gwynedd in north Wales. said that this year's intake of student teachers specialising in physics, at just four, was at its lowest for more than 20 years.
When qualified non specialist teachers were offered further training on issues such as classroom management, but few on subject knowledge. "Teachers don't often have the time or the funding to make use of those courses," she said.
Meanwhile, student achievement in science in Wales was slightly above the mean but countries from the European Union that significantly outperformed Wales included Finland, Estonia, The Netherlands and Slovenia, Estyn said.
The amount of 'outstanding teaching' in science is well below the average for all subjects and compares poorly with that in mathematics and English at GCSE and in the sixth form.
Dr Bill Maxwell, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector This article or section deals primarily with the United Kingdom and does not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. of Education and Training in Wales, said yesterday: "Research shows that not enough people study science, technology, engineering and mathematics beyond compulsory education An editor has expressed concern that this article or section is .
Please help improve the article by adding information and sources on neglected viewpoints, or by summarizing and .
"Wales needs to ensure that its future generations are able to supply its needs for science and technology specialists - improvements in science education are recognised as being central to addressing these challenges."
A shortage of qualified, specialist physics and chemistry teachers in Wales meant many pupils were taught the subjects by teachers with a biology background.
"This practice does not always help to provide a sound knowledge base for learners or to motivate pupils who could potentially progress further in physical science," Dr Maxwell added.
A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said science had a central place in the new curriculum for 3 to 16-year-olds from September.
The Government will consider providing more training opportunities for non-specialist physics teachers as part of its regular review of training needs.
Official inspectorate Estyn fears science teaching standards in Wales are seeing the country's pupils fall behind