HC Deb 11 April 1986 vol 95 cc198-9W
Mr. Baldry

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken since 1979 to ensure that science teaching will have potential applications to industry.

Mr. Chris Patten

"The School Curriculum", published in March 1981, announced the Government's objective of securing more effective science teaching in primary schools, and of making the main areas of science a component of the education of all pupils through the first five years of secondary education. The White Paper "Better Schools" (Cmnd. 9469) and the policy statement "Science 5–16", published in March 1985 set out the Government's policies for achieving that objective; these emphasise the need for the science curriculum to be relevant, so that what is included is of value to pupils in their adult life.

Science is an aspect of the curriculum in which there is particularly close co-operation between industry and education. The Department of Trade and Industry's Industry education unit seeks to encourage more of the country's young people, including the more able, to develop an interest in manufacturing careers and in the subjects and further and higher education courses that can lead to them; and it grant-aids the Standing Conference on Schools Science and Technology which promotes developments in schools to enhance young people's understanding of science, engineering, industry and technology. The standing conference also sponsors the science and technology regional organisations (SATROS) which promote closer links between schools and the outside world at a local level; the Department of Education and Science funds the post of SATRO national co-ordinator.