Grants totalling pound;30 million are up for grabs to help science teachers update their teaching and make lessons more exciting and inspirational.
The Enthuse project aims to send 10,000 teachers on three-day courses at the National Science Learning Centre in York over the next five years. Schools will be able to claim for course fees, transport, accommodation and cover costs.
Depending on teachers' experience, the courses will offer a chance to brush up their subject knowledge from practising scientists and learn new teaching methods. Non-specialists will be able to increase their knowledge, helping them to teach physics and chemistry.
All maintained schools will be able to apply for Enthuse funding. The Wellcome Trust is contributing a third of the money, a third comes from eight firms with an interest in creating a skilled science workforce and the Department for Children, Schools and Families is allocating pound;10 million. A further pound;4.5 million is being set aside by the department for secondary teachers to attend courses at nine regional science learning centres over the next three years.
The project comes as concern increases over fewer pupils taking science and a growing shortage of physics and chemistry teachers in state schools. More pupils become entitled to study separate sciences at GCSE level from next year.