Professional development for science teachers: our comment on the 2017 Budget announcement

Hilary Leevers, Head of Education and Learning at Wellcome, comments on the provision for professional development for teachers in the government’s 2017 Budget announcement.

We welcome the government’s recognition of the importance of professional development for teachers as shown by their £42 million investment in the Teacher Development Premium. We appreciate the new commitments for subject specific professional development in computer science and maths, but it is vital that all science teachers have the opportunity to improve their skills and deepen their knowledge. 

The Department for Education has previously funded professional development for all science teachers through Project ENTHUSE. Wellcome urges the government to continue this support and will provide match funding of £8 million. 

Not only does high quality professional development result in the inspiring and effective science teaching that all young people deserve, it also keeps teachers in the profession. With a severe shortage of science teachers in England and increasing concern about teacher retention, the government should be prioritising subject specific professional development for all areas of science.

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