National Primary Science Quality Mark trial announced to boost the quality of science in primary schools

4 December 2018

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust have announced trial funding to evaluate the effectiveness of the University of Hertfordshire’s Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM).

The PSQM, instigated and developed by the University, and supported by the Primary Science Teaching Trust, is already a highly successful, unique award programme which raises the profile and quality of science in primary schools across the UK and beyond. It provides teachers with a framework and professional support for developing science leadership, teaching and learning in their schools. Today’s trial announcement will look to measure definitively the impact of this whole school accreditation programme on attainment in and attitudes towards science.

The PSQM is one of only two primary education programmes awarded trials in this competitive round of funding.

'PSQM began as an idea at the University in 2009'

Jane Turner, Associate Professor and PSQM Director, School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire, said: 'The award of this large-scale evaluation of the Primary Science Quality Mark programme is fantastic news for the University of Hertfordshire.  PSQM began as an idea at the University in 2009 and has grown to become a well-respected and supported national CPD programme for science leadership in primary schools, which is raising the profile and quality of science in primary schools across the UK.

'The EEF and Wellcome trial will be a robust test of PSQM’s impact on children’s science attainment as well as their attitudes.  It is clear validation that the University of Hertfordshire has developed a programme that is seen to be making a positive difference to thousands of children’s experiences of learning science each year.'

Currently 13% of primary schools in England have a PSQM. According to a report by Wellcome Trust Primary Science Campaign*, 90% of teachers in schools with PSQM 4 or currently applying for it, received support compared with 68% of teachers in schools who do not hold the award. The report also found that schools that hold the mark or are applying for it, have more science teaching hours as part of their curriculum.

* ‘State of the nation’ report of UK primary science education


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