§ Mr. Soames
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied with the standard of science teaching in schools.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
My right hon. Friend has made clear his view that the standards achieved by school pupils, in science as in other curriculum areas, can and should be improved. "Science 5–16: A statement of policy", published earlier this year by the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, sets as objectives that all pupils should be properly introduced to science in the primary school and should continue to study a broad science programme until the age of 16. The Government have pursued these objectives by supporting through education support grant, projects to improve the effectiveness and relevance of science education in 295W primary schools, and by providing some £2 million annually through the in-service teacher training grants scheme towards training for science co-ordinators in primary schools and heads of science departments in secondary schools.