Science and Mathematics in Schools - a Review
This Ofsted publication describes factors affecting the low take-up of science and mathematics post-16 identified for the year 1992-93. These were: the status of science in our culture; the nature of science and mathematics as school subjects; the organisation of schools; the curriculum; science and mathematics teachers; factors beyond the formal school curriculum. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, in his Annual Report for the year 1992-93, expressed concern about the take-up of science and mathematics in courses leading to the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education. He initiated an enquiry into the apparent decline in take-up and what might be done about it. This document is the resulting report of the enquiry's findings. A total of 29 organizations and institutions were listed as contributors to the enquiry. The enquiry recommended further thought on the following issues: • improving the quality of mathematics teaching in primary schools • the science curriculum in Key Stage Four and in particular whether, while retaining the principle of balanced science for all, there is scope for allowing some students a degree of specialization in addition to this broad science base • strengthening the curricular relationships between mathematics and science, in the way that both are taught • commissioning further studies into student choices and their attitudes to the study of and careers in science and mathematics, including further studies on what can be done to make science and mathematics more attractive to girls • strategies for encouraging more high-quality entrants into teacher training in science and mathematics • strategies for enabling science and mathematics teachers to refresh and update their knowledge and understanding • setting priorities for improving teaching conditions in science through improvements in laboratories and resources • how to use research on the way students learn in order to improve the quality of science and mathematics teaching and learning. Her Majesty’s Inspectors were crown-appointed officers, located within the Department of Education and Science, who reported to the Secretary of State on standards of education and related areas. Under the Education (Schools) Act 1992, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) was created. HMI became part of Ofsted and would supervise the inspection of each state-funded school in the country, and would publish its reports instead of reporting to the Secretary of State.