Successful Science

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This report from Ofsted draws on the results of visits by inspectors to 94 primary, 94 secondary schools and two special schools between June 2007 and March 2010. These schools were selected broadly to represent the profile of schools in England, but excluded schools in Ofsted’s categories of concern. It also draws on the outcomes of subject conferences organised by Ofsted. During the past year, 2009–10, inspectors reported on post-16 science education in 31 colleges and their reports have also formed part of the evidence.

From September 2005 schools have been inspected using a new framework under Section 5 of the Education Act. This framework does not require the separate reporting or recording of judgments about specific subjects. From September 2005, and the introduction of Section 5 inspection framework, until March 2010, inspection data was derived from science subject inspections to around 30 primary and 30 secondary schools each year.

The data gathered are analysed to make judgements about the state of science education. Quantitative data are presented selectively, for example to exemplify standards over time. Qualitative data gathered is used to exemplify the text, for example on quality of teaching, quality of curriculum or quality of leadership and management. Data on performance outcomes for 2005-2010 are given in Annex B.

[b]Report contents:[/b]
Executive summary
Key findings

[b]Part A. Science in primary and secondary schools[/b]
Key issues from the last report
Achievement in science
Quality of teaching in science
The curriculum in science
Leadership and management

[b]Part B. Post-16 science[/b]
Recognising the outstanding
From satisfactory to good and beyond
Getting on the right path
Supporting science in primary school
Quality in continuing professional development

Annex B: Providers visited
Annex B: Standards in science in primary schools
National data from 2005 to 2010
Standards in science in secondary schools
National data from 2005 to 2010

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They regulate and inspect to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.

The Education and Inspections Act, which established the new Ofsted, specifically requires that in everything they do they should:

•promote service improvement
•ensure services focus on the interests of their users
•see that services are efficient, effective and promote value for money.

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