The president of the Royal Society has criticised the emphasis on exam results as detrimental to science teaching.
Lord Rees, giving the annual lecture to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, said: "Much of the last 15 years has shown a pre-occupation in schools with attainment rather than engagement. We are regaled with graphs that show increases in the proportion of pupils attaining a GCSE at grade C, but there is a problem."
Lord Rees said pupils going on to university increasingly did not have enough essential knowledge, especially in maths. School science needs to be made more personal for students so it becomes engaging and worthwhile to them, he added.