HC Deb 27 July 1999 vol 336 cc159-60W
Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment with what scientific professional and academic organisations he has had discussions on(a) the improvement of the school scientific laboratory infrastructure and (b) the laboratory teaching of (i) physics, (ii) chemistry, (iii) biology, (iv) environmental sciences and (v) other sciences. [91279]

Mr. Charles Clarke

I, my ministerial colleagues and officials have regular meetings with a number of academic and professional organisations, notably the Association for Science Education, to discuss various aspects of science teaching. We have had no meetings specifically to discuss school scientific laboratory infrastructure and teaching, but we are considering how

Home Domiciled Entrants to Higher Education Courses1 England and Wales
19932 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
Under 21 194,656 199,151 200,754 204,118 216,936 217,365
21 and over 203,210 210,317 228,552 226,085 220,906 218,494
Postgraduate 99,083 122,974 126,254 118,876 123,841 129,373
Total entrants 496,949 532,442 555,560 549,079 561,683 565,232


1. Full-time and part-time courses. Excluding HE students in FE colleges.

2. Figures for 1993 were collected on a different basis to those in later years. Includes a small number of HE students in FE colleges in Wales.

The available information on non-completion consists of UK level full-time and sandwich first degree non-completion rates published in the Departmental Annual Report. The table shows these non-completion rates for the same period:

UK1 Full-time and sandwich first degree non-completion rates
Year Non-completion2
1993–94 317–18
1994–95 317–18
1995–96 318–19
1996–97 4n/a
1997–98 4n/a
1998–99 4n/a

best to work together with relevant organisations on this and other areas. We are committed to developing partnerships with such organisations to improve standards in all subjects, including science, and I will be working to improve and expand such partnerships in the coming months.