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Consortium Partners


Coordinating Partners

The ASE is taking the lead in Getting Practical. As a partner organisation of SCORE, the ASE are ideally placed to build on the recommendations of the SCORE report and bring together the expertise and experience of the consortium partners listed below to address the aims of the programme. The core Getting Practical team is based at the ASE and can be contacted through the organisation’s headquarters or via the Contact Us page.


Getting Practical is an 'ASE CPD Activity'.

The Association of Science Education


CLEAPSS® is an advisory service supporting practical science (and technology) in schools, colleges, etc. It is largely funded by subscriptions from members. At the present moment every one of the 180 education authorities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the various islands is a member and hence all their schools have free access to CLEAPSS services. The vast majority of independent schools, post-16 colleges and teacher-training establishments are associate members, as are many curriculum developers, field study centres, hands-on museums and learned societies. There is a particular focus on health and safety.

CLEAPSS produces a large number of publications for members, almost all of which are now available on line. The members’ Helpline takes about 6800 calls per year. CLEAPSS also runs about 210 courses per year, mostly 1-day. We are represented on several committees of the British Standards Institution and maintain a close dialogue with the Health and Safety Executive, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, professional bodies and others with an interest in science education.

CLEAPSS is one of the original partners for this programme. We sought active involvement in the programme because it meets many aspects of the CLEAPSS mission statement and serves the needs and aspirations of members.

The national network of Science Learning Centres

The Centre for Science Education (CSE) at Sheffield Hallam University is the country’s largest university group working in STEM education.  Curriculum development, innovation in CPD, research and evaluation are its main activities, and CSE has particular expertise in equality and diversity issues. Current projects includewikid science andupd8 (both run in partnership with ASE),STEM Subject Choice and Careers (a DCSF Action Programme) andcre8ate maths, a project aimed at transforming teaching, learning and CPD in maths. CSE hosts theScience Learning Centre Yorkshire and the Humber and holds the regional STEMPOINT brokerage contract. Sheffield Hallam is a partner in theNational Science Learning Centre. For the Getting Practical programme, CSE has been joined by Professor Robin Millar of the University of York, a world-leading expert on practical work in science, and for the primary strand by Jen Smyth (of London Metropolitan University) and Dr Martin Hollins

The Centre for Science Education (CSE)


Contributing Partners

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to raising levels of achievement in secondary education.  We work with school practitioners at all levels  to develop and share new and effective teaching and learning practice, and to improve schools to raise standards and levels of achievement.  As part of the Getting Practical Programme we will recruit two groups of nine high quality Lead Practitioners from specialist science colleges in each DCSF region to play a key role in delivering the programme over the next two years.  We believe that high quality ‘hands on’ practical work is essential in enabling learners to achieve their full potential in science and we will utilise our extensive specialist school networks and partnerships to ensure the maximum number of colleagues in the specialist system are fully aware of the programme and how they can participate in it.

Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT)

The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. With a worldwide membership of over 34,000, the organisation is also a leading scientific publisher, as well as a communicator of physics to all audiences; including specialists, government and the general public.


One of our core aims is to secure a flourishing future for physics, and to this end the Institute supports physics in all schools and colleges by:


  • supporting teacher training and professional development
    supporting curriculum development
    creating teacher networks
    running teacher and student events
    providing career materials
    providing classroom resources


To find out more about all we offer schools and colleges go to:

For information about the teacher network and workshops in your area go to:


Practical Physics
The Institute and the Nuffield Curriculum Centre have developed the website to help all teachers of physics share their skills and experience of making experiments and demonstrations work in the classroom.  The website includes information on apparatus, procedure and teaching notes, together with general guidance on teaching approaches and 'how science works'.

IOP Institute of Physics

The Society of Biology is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting our members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.  The Society of Biology is a charity, created by the unification of the Biosciences Federation and the Institute of Biology, and is building on the heritage and reputation of these two organisations to champion the study and development of biology, and provide expert guidance and opinion. The Society represents a diverse membership of over 80,000 - including, students, practising scientists and interested non-professionals - as individuals, or through learned societies and other organisations.

We are committed to promoting biology as a subject of choice to students in schools, colleges and universities. We support and recognise excellence in biology teaching; champion a biology curriculum that challenges students and encourages their passion for biology; support young scientists through higher education, and provide career guidance at all levels.  We offer a range of tools to assist our members working in education in their professional development, we respond to education policy consultations, and contribute to curriculum development and course accreditation. Through partnership with other leading science organisations, we aim to increase our influence over the advancement of biology education.

For further information please visit

Institute of Biology

The RSC is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a worldwide network of over 46,000 members and an international publishing business, our activities span education, conferences, science policy and the promotion of chemistry to the public.  Our education activities are designed to support the teaching and learning of chemistry within the primary, secondary and post-16 phases, and our resources and materials are sent free to schools and colleges in the UK and Ireland. We are also the largest non-government provider of INSET (in-service training for teachers) in the UK, providing a range of workshops and residential courses aimed at updating teachers' chemistry knowledge and skills. RSC - Advancing Chemical Science

The Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme aims are to:
- encourage effective practical work
- provide opportunities and support for teachers to extend and update their knowledge and skills
- offer modern contexts for teaching key concepts
- develop and disseminate innovative and engaging classroom resources to support learning & teaching.
This is achieved through the Innovations in Practical Work series of publications, the development of practical kit, and a team of dedicated professional development leads through their CPD support programme.
The CPD support focuses on on-going, bespoke, 'whole departmental training', developing practical expertise, for teaching and support staff with the physical sciences.
Further details can be found on the SEP website

The National STEM Centre website will provide a sustainable home for the Getting Practical materials, which will form part of the Centre’s showcase of curriculum development resources.

The National STEM Centre will open during 2009/2010 on the University of York campus, co-located with the National Science Learning Centre.

The key objectives of the National STEM Centre are to:

  • House the UK’s largest open collection of STEM teaching and learning resources.
  • Provide teachers of STEM in with the ability to access a wide range of support materials.

  • Bring together STEM partners with a shared mission to support STEM education, thus supporting the government’s STEM Cohesion Programme.

Teachers will be able to access the STEM resource collection in York from Summer 2009, and  in addition to the physical collection, as much material as possible will be made available online through the Centre’s website during 2010.

Alongside contemporary resource materials (including print, multimedia, and practical resources) the Centre will hold an archive collection, showcasing curriculum development over several decades, and a research collection to provide teachers and lecturers with publications that may be of particular interest to classroom practitioners.

The development of the Centre’s resource collections, in particular the archive and research material, is being done in collaboration with partner STEM organisations, who are providing expertise in particular subject areas.

Please visit to register for updates on the Centre’s development.


For further information contact Jenifer Burden,, who would be very pleased to hear from colleagues interested in being involved in the Centre’s development.

The National STEM Centre

The Centre for Innovation and Research in Science Education (CIRSE) at the University of York has a national and international reputation for the development of innovative, research-informed courses and teaching materials in science.  Courses developed by the University of York Science Education Group include Salters Advanced Chemistry, Salters Horners Advanced Physics, Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology, and Twenty First Century Science (the last two in collaboration with the Nuffield Foundation Curriculum Programme).  All of these draw on the research of CIRSE staff and of other science education researchers.  Staff in the Centre also teach on the secondary Science PGCE programme, contribute to undergraduate and masters programmes in education, and supervise doctoral research studies in science education.

The framework that underpins the mapping and CPD strands of the Improving Practical Work in Science Programme was developed by Robin Millar, drawing on the research literature on practical work in school science to focus attention on the features of practical activities that most strongly influence its effectiveness.


For more information about CIRSE, go to:

University of York


Supported by

SCORE is a partnership between the Association for Science Education, the Biosciences Federation, the Institute of Biology, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Science Council. SCORE acts under the auspices of the Royal Society and is chaired by Sir Alan Wilson FBA FRS.

SCORE aims to improve science education in UK schools and colleges by harnessing the expertise, influence and resources of key independent organisations to support the development and implementation of effective education policy and projects

The SCORE partners believe that the key to maximising the impact of their efforts, especially their influence on government, lies in a greater degree of collaboration and in having a sense of common purpose. Through this collective action, the partnership aims to increase its influence over the direction of science education in the years to come, in particular over teacher supply and retention, curriculum development, assessment, delivery of support to teachers and students, and strategies for reaching all young people regardless of age, background, level of ability, gender, ethnic origin and geographical location.

Current projects include:

  • Progression Routes;
  • Relative Difficulty of A-Levels;
  • Practical Work in Science;
  • Science Diplomas

    The members also represent SCORE on a variety of boards and advisory panels.


The Royal Society, the national academy of science of the UK and the Commonwealth, is at the cutting edge of scientific progress.

We support many top young scientists, engineers and technologists, influence science policy, debate scientific issues with the public and much more. We are an independent, charitable body which derives our authoritative status from over 1400 Fellows and Foreign Members.

The Royal Society

Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS)

The Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) programme supports teaching and learning about plants in schools and colleges and aims to strengthen the place of plant science in education. SAPS is a programme of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation as part of its Plant Science programme. SAPS has 20 years experience in plant science education and provides support and advice to individuals and organisations wishing to develop plant-based teaching and learning. For more information about SAPS and to discover a range of tried and tested practical activities visit

The National Strategies secondary science programme


The design and delivery of engaging lessons that make effective use of practical activities is a key part of successful science teaching and one which the science programme of the National Strategies has sought to support since its inception in 2001.


As well as providing termly CPD for subject leaders the National Strategies science consultants in local authorities work alongside groups of science teachers and subject leaders in schools to support them in developing their practice. In doing this consultants draw on a wide range of science resources produced by the Strategy which can be found at  


Of particular relevance to developing practical work in science is the interactive self study module Interactive teaching in science which can be found at

The National Strategies

The LSIS STEM Programme offers free, targeted support including resources, networks and funding to teachers and managers across the learning and skills sector including colleges, adult education, work-based learning and prison units.


A consortium of leading STEM education organisations delivers the programme to provide specialist, effective support:


The LSIS STEM Programme supports the effective use of practical work to improve teaching and learning in the further education science classroom.  Current work includes support for themed action research projects and resource development.



The new L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre (YSC) at The Royal Institution offers teachers and students (ages 7-18) the chance and explore practical science in our new state-of-the-art laboratory. The special feature of the YSC is the emphasis on trial and error, experimentation and a reintroduction of the thrill of discovery without an expected end result. Students will not be pressured to produce the ‘right’ results in a fixed period of time but instead will be encouraged to be creative and adapt their experiments in response to their observations and natural curiosity, in a similar way to real scientists.


The YSC is keen to support the ‘Getting Practical’ training and will be running sessions at the Royal Institution. We feel it is vital to encourage good quality practical science in the classroom and are proud to associate ourselves with the Association of Science Education.


The Nuffield Foundation Curriculum Programme explores new approaches to teaching and learning by developing, managing and supporting curriculum projects. Our work meets the criteria that the Nuffield Foundation applies to all the activities it supports. Our projects aim to be innovative, practical, general and reflective. Our main areas of interest at the moment are Science and Mathematics, and we are keen to explore the creative use of ICT to support teaching and learning in these fields.


For further information please visit

Also supported by The Wellcome Trust.


Independent Evaluators
The Institute of Education is evaluating the Getting Practical – Improving Practical Work in Science Programme.

The Institute of Education