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Ethics class for teachers

Religious education experts are being asked to contribute to innovative new training programmes forscience teachers.

A pound;400,000 competition to create new science training is being thrown open to bodies working in the humanities and RE in the hope that they can bring an ethical dimension to teaching.

They could help teachers when they debate with pupils the moral aspects of developments such as genetics and cloning with their classes.

The winning programmes will be used to train teachers at the new science learning centres announced by the Government and the Wellcome Trust last month.

Launching the competition at the ASE conference, Helen Lewis of the Wellcome Trust said: "Colleagues in health education might have something to contribute about debating risk, while those in the humanities and RE can contribute to debates about ethics."

Around 20 to 25 new courses will be created as part of the competition, for teachers of all age groups as well as technicians.

Experts at the conference voiced fears that the new centres may have too great an emphasis on secondary teachers at the expense of those in primary schools.

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