Science and education dream team to create new vision for next generation

27 January 2012

A galaxy of leading lights including two previous Secretaries of State for Education, two scientist-media stars and a Nobel Prize-winning academic have been brought together with leading teachers and educationalists by the Royal Society to create a new vision for the future of science and mathematics education.

The new project, Vision for Science and Mathematics Education 5-19, launched by the Royal Society (the UK’s national academy of science) will produce an evidence-based vision of a future world-class, high-performing education system for science and mathematics.

Sir Martin Taylor FRS, Chair of the Vision Committee, said: “Young people today recognise that science and mathematics lie at the heart of their future - and the future of the UK – and are starting to flock to these advantageous and inspiring subjects.  We must provide them with an exemplary education system that supports their ambition and nurtures the great minds of the future.  The Royal Society’s new project aims to do just that.”

The Vision Committee members are:
Sir Martin Taylor FRS (Chair) – Warden of Merton College, University of Oxford and Professor of Pure Mathematics
Professor Julia Higgins DBE FRS FREng (Vice-Chair) – Former Chair, Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education (ACME)
Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE - Professor of Physics, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, EPSRC Senior Media Fellow, University of Surrey
Mrs Linda-May Bingham - Headteacher, Britannia Village Primary School, London
Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore - Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London
Professor Sally Brown FRSE - Deputy Convener on the RSE Education Committee, The Royal Society of Edinburgh
The Rt Hon Charles Clarke - Former Secretary of State for Education Oct 2002 – Dec 2004
Professor Raymond Dolan FRS - Director, Wellcome Trust Centre For Neuroimaging
Professor Athene Donald DBE FRS - Chair, Education Committee, The Royal Society and
Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Cambridge
Mr Michael Gernon - Principal, The RSA Academy, Tipton, W. Midlands
Sir Tim Hunt FRS - Principal Scientist, Cell Cycle Control Laboratory, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute
Dr Ian Jones – Education Research Fellow of The Royal Society at Mathematics Education Centre, Loughborough University
Professor David Philips FRSC CBE – President, Royal Society of Chemistry
The Rt Hon Baroness Shephard of Northwold – Former Secretary of State for Education July 1994 – May 1997
Mrs Joan Sjovoll – Headteacher, Framwellgate School, Durham
Professor Lord Winston Hon FREng FMedSci - Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College

Sir Martin added: “The project will respond to concerns expressed by governments, employers and the science and mathematics communities about the UK’s future economic competitiveness.  We want to provide a blueprint for ensuring that the UK will continue to have scientifically and mathematically literate citizens, as well as sufficient numbers of scientists and mathematicians to help solve the many challenges the world will face in the coming decade.”

The project has identified and will focus on five specific areas that are seen as essential components of a high-performing school and college science and mathematics education system:  
Teachers and the wider workforce
Leadership and ethos
Skills, curriculum and assessment
As part of the project, members of the public are being asked to submit their views of these key areas via the Royal Society website. Find more information about the project and how to submit your views.