Head: More physics and chemistry teachers needed

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

Parliamentary candidates grilled by students at Portsmouth College debate

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A HEADTEACHER says the lack of confident physics and chemistry teachers is the main obstacle to high quality science education.

Mike Smith, head of City of Portsmouth Boys, has taught science for over 20 years. He has challenged the conclusion of a science and technology select committee, made up of MPs, who claim a lack of experiments and field trips are hindering the next generation of scientists.

Mr Smith said: ‘The first and over-riding issue is it is very difficult to get good science teachers who have the confidence and experience to do experiments. Graduates in physics and chemistry in particular are in short supply.

‘The best science teaching without a doubt in terms of making lessons interesting and achieving good results involves a substantial amount of practical work.’

The committee warned busy curriculums and the cost of experiments were deterrents in schools.

But Mr Smith, who is also chairman, of secondary heads in Portsmouth said he had not noticed a decline in practical experiences.

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