Menu Close


Log in to personalise your experience and connect with IOP.

Benchmark tools for practical work in science

Science Community Representing Education (SCORE) was a policy partnership of science organisations, including the Institute of Physics. It aimed to improve science education in schools and colleges in England by supporting the development and implementation of effective education policy. 

About Science Community Representing Education

While SCORE no longer formally exists, the five organisations still work closely together and the resources we produced remain relevant and helpful.

Practical work in science

Practical work is integral to education in the sciences. It should be intrinsic to the curriculum and used to develop a pupil's understanding of scientific enquiry and practical skills, and their scientific knowledge and understanding. To provide the right experiences for their students, schools need to be properly resourced.

To help heads of department, SCORE produced a set of resourcing benchmarks for planning science department budgets and equipping classrooms and laboratories.


The benchmarks cover equipment and consumables, and access to outside space for:

  • colleges
  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • laboratory facilities
  • technician staff in secondary schools and colleges

If you are keen to ensure practical work in science remains a top priority in your school download and use these benchmarks to:

  • create an inventory and review current stock
  • plan a rolling programme of replacement, to help with budget forecasting and procurement planning
  • assist with planning new laboratories
  • engage with the senior leadership team to recognise the needs of your science provision

Benchmark tools

Resourcing practical work in schools – SCORE reports

The benchmarks were developed through the Resourcing Schools Science project, which aimed to provide SCORE with robust and rigorously analysed evidence on the current resourcing of practical work in the sciences. This was across primary and secondary schools and sixth form colleges in England.

Further information

Download the SCORE policy document, Practical work in science (PDF, 2.11MB).