Across the UK, since 1991 entries for physics, mathematics and chemistry A-levels have fallen overall by 37%, 25% and 10% respectively. To reverse this trend, the Royal Society wishes to build on its track record in science and mathematics education by creating an extensive science education policy programme focusing on the schools level.
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With a backbone of commissioned evidence to inform its policy, a reputation for facilitation and partnership and the prestige of being the UK academy of science, the Society provides a strong platform for the launch of a Science Education Policy Unit ‚Äì the first of its kind. By producing reports such as Increasing Science Uptake Post-16, the work of ACME and the other existing policy work of the Society‚Äôs education team, the Society is already successful in this area. Greater investment will enable us to improve our horizon scanning; improving our timeliness in addressing key science education issues. The Science Education Policy Unit will ensure maximum impact on education policy and practice through integrated stakeholder engagement, press outreach and strong links to the research outputs of the Education Research Fellowships. A partnership approach will be taken with key members of the science community; and the Policy Unit will actively engage with government, foundations (such as the Wellcome Trust, Nuffield Foundation and Gatsby Charitable Foundation), the National Science Learning Centre and leading industrial partners. Quality will be assured through the Society‚Äôs normal mechanisms (working parties of experts and advice from our Education Committee, overseen and endorsed by the Society‚Äôs Council), by working in partnership as appropriate with other respected bodies and by full engagement with stakeholders. At the same time, our education policy work will at times push the boundaries that need pushed, be innovative and proactive. The Policy Unit will engage with leading thinkers, challenge orthodoxy, provoke debate and demand progress.
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