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School science vital to levelling-up scientific potential across the UK

12 May 2021

CaSE has published ‘Inspiring Innovation’, a briefing putting forward recommendations for the UK and devolved governments to enable them to provide high-quality science education in primary and secondary schools across the UK. 

High-quality science education is crucial to driving forward the government’s plans to grow and ‘level-up’ the UK economy and society. In yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised a ‘skills revolution’ in a boost to the Government’s levelling up agenda. With the UK set to increase its public research investment to £22bn by 2024/25, it’s important that everyone should be able to participate and prosper in a more innovative economy and society. This not only means continuing to inspire an increasingly diverse group of people to become scientists and engineers, but also equipping all young people with the skills to take advantage of advances in research and innovation, whatever their background.

Commenting on the briefing, CaSE Executive Director Professor Sarah Main said:

“In the Queen’s Speech, the Prime Minister promises a UK that is a leader in advanced research and innovation, and also one that offers ‘level’ opportunity across the country. These two goals can be met in enhancing science education provision, so that all young people have the opportunity, skills and passion to create a more innovative UK and prosper in it.

Central to unlocking the UK’s scientific growth and prosperity is providing more opportunities to a greater number of young people, regardless of their background or where they live, so that science and engineering can be a career for everyone. As CaSE has set out in its new briefing, the UK Government has the perfect opportunity to put high-quality science education at the heart of its ‘levelling-up’ agenda, if properly supported by the right policies.”

CaSE’s new policy briefing ‘Inspiring Innovation’ outlines the key issues facing science education in the UK and offers steps that governments can take to support the provision of high-quality science education. The briefing recommends support in three important areas:

  • Creating a confident and empowered teaching workforce
  • Making science and engineering inclusive to all young people
  • Giving students exposure to practical, experimental science

CaSE has produced the briefing with experts in the domestic education policy sector. Individual recommendations include:

  • Creating support packages for teachers to attract applications in disadvantaged areas
  • All teachers to receive 35 hours of high-quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per year
  • UK-wide governments to require all primary schools to have Science Leaders
  • Ensuring that practical work remains a part of assessment in the sciences
  • Reviewing pay and conditions for school science technicians to best attract and retain their expertise

CaSE’s Executive Director had a letter on the report published in The Times:

Inspiring Innovation report

Read the full report