Benchmark tools for practical work in science


SCORE is a partnership of science organisations, including the Institute of Physics. It aims to improve science education in schools and colleges in England by supporting the development and implementation of effective education policy.

Practical work in science

SCORE believes that practical work is integral to science education. It should be intrinsic to the curriculum and be used not only to develop a pupil's understanding of scientific enquiry and practical skills but also to further a pupil's scientific knowledge and understanding.

SCORE knows that the quality of practical work in science is heavily dependent on the confidence and competence of those teaching and supporting the practical work in schools.

That is why SCORE has produced a set of resourcing benchmarks for teachers and school practitioners to use when planning science department budgets and equipping classrooms and laboratories.

The benchmarks cover equipment and consumables, and access to outside space for primary schools, as well as secondary schools and colleges; and laboratory facilities, and technician staffing for 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 in recognising 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, across primary and secondary schools and sixth form colleges in England.

For more information about the project go to:

SCORE policy – practical work in science

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