ASE aims

Science Year (extended to next July), the key stage 3 science strategy, the proposed National Centre of Excellence in Science Teaching, the Science and Engineering Ambassadors programme, and the select committee report, Science Education from 14 to 19, all recognise that good teachers are at the heart of science education.

So how can we create the best environment for our pupils to learn?

We need to:

* refurbish school laboratories even beyond the pound;60 million newly provided;

* enhance science technicians' jobs to attract high quality, well-trained personnel;

* ensure our teaching engages all students.

It is down to teachers to take advantage of whatever support, resources and professional development are available. For example, the key stage 3 strategy, with its emphasis on supported continuing professional development, looks promising.

In the primary sector this is the right time to bring science to the fore in a reconstituted, balanced curriculum.

For more than 100 years the Association for ScienceEducation has worked to help teachers improve scienceeducation and will continueto do so.

For more information about the Association for Science Education visit www.ase.org.uk

Derek Bell is chief executive of the Association for Science Education

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