Response from Government & Ofqual on Practical experiments in school science & field trips
[Reproduced from TecHKnow - http://www.techknow.org.uk]
On 14th September, the House of Commons Select Committee published a report into "Practical experiments in science lessons and science field trips. On 15th November, the Government and also Ofqual responded to the report. The report focused on what schools need to do, with encouragement form the Government , to overcome the perceived and real barriers to providing high quality practicals, fieldwork and field trips as part of the science education they deliver. The Governments has made several recommendation. However, the most important of these as far as our profession is concerned is as follows;
?There was no evidence that health and safety legislation itself prevented this (safe science and field trips) from happening
?The Government should work to establish a central repository or facility (or network of such facilities with a common interface) which will contain detail guidance on standard experiments. This facility should provide access, for member schools to any CLEAPSS provided health and safety guidance for those experiments
?Trainee teachers should be given the opportunity to actually take part in a field trip before acquiring qualified teacher status. Teachers would also be expected to keep their science classroom skills up to date.
?The Government reiterates that a former committee has made for action to be taken to "address the appalling pay and conditions of science technicians and to create a career structure that will attract skilled and dedicated people to work as technicians." The Government recognizes and fully appreciates the important and valuable contribution that science technicians make in school. They understand that head teachers and school governors value the role of support staff and that those staff can have a very big impact in science teaching