Science education for a research and innovation economy

03 September 2021

This report was produced ahead of the Government’s 2021 Autumn Budget and spending review. 

The Royal Society is calling on the Government to continue and accelerate its investment in science teaching, the foundation of the world-leading science education our young people deserve. Great teaching encourages young people to study science further. Even better - as you will see in this report – investment in continuing professional development (CPD) for those teaching science more than pays for itself, by reducing the need to recruit and train new teachers.

We are seeking from Government investment to renew and improve the CPD infrastructure for science teachers, to ensure that all our young people can receive a great science education and contribute to a research and innovation driven economy, through the following recommendations:

  • The Government should support the science education teaching workforce by committing £87 million over the next three-year spending period to science continuing professional development (CPD). 
  • The Government should support the establishment of an independent expert body, chaired by a respected scientist and educationalist, responsible for the oversight, dispersal and coordination of funding of science education teacher CPD. 
  • We recommend that the Office for Science Education Professional Development should also be a ‘subject pathfinder’.