Schools have the opportunity – and a responsibility – to engage their students through inspiring science and maths teaching. Teaching should enable students to achieve their best in these high-stakes core subjects and open up future learning and employment opportunities. Schools should also sustain their students’ curiosity, allowing them to enjoy the cultural pleasures of our scientific heritage and keep apace with new developments, including those highly relevant to their own lives. Consideration of how schools perform in science and maths should extend beyond simple exam results.

“Very few [schools] measured their [science] departments’ performance against the lofty goal of ‘maintaining curiosity’”, Ofsted 2013.

The questions in this framework can help governing bodies identify areas to celebrate or challenge in science and maths, enabling them to work with their senior leaders to drive improvement.

Why do governors need to think about science and maths?

  • First and foremost, science and maths are core subjects that are compulsory for students in England until the age of 16.
  • Continuing to study science and maths post-16 opens doors for students to job opportunities and further and higher education, and not just in specific science and maths sectors. Skills gained through science and maths are applicable, and often critical, to many other areas of learning and employment.
  • A good understanding of science and maths can improve learning across many areas of the curriculum through improved understanding of the world around us, application of concepts and development of basic investigative skills.
  • It is essential that everyone has an understanding of science and maths to be able to make informed decisions on a range of personal issues, from health care to personal finance, to appreciate our scientific culture and heritage and to engage with advances in technology.

Download a full version of the questions here QUESTIONS FOR GOVERNORS Secondary_October 15