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About the Royal Society

Gove speaks at the Royal Society

29 June 2011

The Secretary of State for Education, the Right Honourable Michael Gove MP, today gave a speech at the Royal Society highlighting the importance of science and maths and stating that the Government “unequivocally believe that maths and science education are at the heart of improving our society and our economy.”

The speech also covered the ongoing National Curriculum Review and highlighted the importance of continuing mathematics education, stating that the Government “should set a new goal for the education system so that within a decade the vast majority of pupils are studying maths right through to the age of 18.” 

Commenting on today’s speech by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove at the Royal Society, Dame Athene Donald, Chair of the Royal Society Education Committee, said: 

“The Royal Society is delighted that Education Secretary Michael Gove chose to make his speech today at the Royal Society, indicating the importance his department is placing not only on science and mathematics but also on engaging with the learned societies as they develop their policies. 
There can be no question that, as Michael Gove so categorically stated, maths and science education are at the heart of improving our society and our economy. As we illustrated in our 2010 report, The Scientific Century, the UK has a proud track record of achievement in science and engineering, with the most productive research base among the world’s leading economies. However, we need to place science and innovation at the heart of the UK’s long-term strategy for economic growth if we are to remain competitive, and at the apex of this must be inspiring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The Education Secretary’s recognition that more students should be studying maths and for longer is particularly welcome, both for maths as an intellectual and applied subject and for the role it plays in all disciplines of modern science. The Royal Society’s most recent State of the Nation report identified a significant shortage in the numbers of students studying mathematics past GCSE, given the needs of higher education and the economy, and advocates that all students should study some form of mathematics to 18.”

The full transcript of the speech can be read here: