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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 14:06 GMT
Funding for more science teachers
science lesson
Science teachers are in short supply in schools
Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced extra money to try to recruit 3,000 more secondary school science teachers.

In his Budget speech, he also said there would be funding for 250 after-school science clubs.

But in return he wanted science results to be "benchmarked" in the way targets are set for English and maths results.

There are already incentives for people to train as science teachers, who are in short supply. Details of the new scheme have yet to be published.

BUDGET 2006
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The chief executive of the Association for Science Education, Derek Bell, said: "Obviously supporting science teachers is welcome but the devil will be in the detail.

"Three thousand new science teachers is great but it certainly isn't enough, and what is really important is long-term support and the continuing professional development of our existing teachers so that they are fully equipped to teach the curriculum that our teachers need."

One in four maths teachers in England is not a specialist in the subject, government-funded research has suggested.

Laboratories

The Chancellor's stated strategy is to invest in science, innovation and research to make the UK more competitive globally.

But a head teachers' leader revealed recently that 250m extra which ministers promised to invest in science laboratories was not available.

That extra 250m was to have come from the Department of Trade and Industry.

A spokesperson said the Department for Education and Skills was continuing to improve schools over time - including science laboratories.

"On the manifesto pledge, further information will be announced in due course," he said.




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