Learning and Skills Network
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Sharp increase in Triple Science entries

Triple science is seeing a resurgence in popularity, with a sharp rise in the number of entries for GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics this year.

Nearly 23,000 more students in England took biology this summer compared with 2007 – an increase of nearly 36 per cent.
 
Chemistry saw 17,807 additional entries, a rise of almost 30 per cent, while 17,383 more students took physics, an increase of over 29 per cent.
 
This increase in numbers taking the three separate science GCSEs is good news for this country’s economic future. The CBI has highlighted the potential lack of science and maths skills as a major future issue for the UK.
 
John Stone, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Network, said: “It is really encouraging to see this increase in young people taking separate sciences at GCSE.
 
“We anticipate that more and more schools will be able to offer triple science, giving students an excellent grounding for moving on to science A-levels and university.”
 
Triple science offers students more opportunities to enjoy a greater breadth of knowledge and understanding of the three separate sciences.
 
Since March 2007 the Triple Science Support Programme has been in place to help schools offer the three sciences at GCSE - part of a major campaign to improve the uptake of science and technology. 
 
The programme has been delivered by the Learning and Skills Network (LSN), under contract from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
 
It is run in partnership with the National Science Learning Centre, the Institute of Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics.
 
Mark Ellis of LSN, the Triple Science Support Programme’s manager, said: “With our partners we have considerably raised the profile of triple science GCSEs.
 
“Our programme has helped schools to offer them, as well as helping young people to realise that the three sciences are achievable.”
 
The Government has made it an entitlement for all students achieving at least level 6 at the end of Key Stage 3 to be able to study triple science from this September.
 
Students in most state schools take a double GCSE award in science. A quarter of maintained schools now offer triple science.
 
Figures over the last five years from the Joint Council for Qualifications show that the number of entrants for triple science have gradually increased. But the rise between 2007 and 2008 has been significant.
 
Schools offering triple science at GCSE report that the course adds diversity to the curriculum, it satisfies demand from parents, staff enjoy teaching it and it is an excellent preparation for A-levels.
 
For further information, see www.triplescience.org.uk
 
Media contacts:
Martin Whittaker, Viva Communications Ltd, 01453 756714, martin@viva-communications.co.uk
Frank Villeneuve-Smith at LSN, 020 7492 5141, fvsmith@lsneducation.org.uk
  
Notes for editors
 
The Learning and Skills Network (LSN) is an independent not for profit organisation committed to making a difference to education and training. It is one of the two successor organisations of the LSDA www.lsneducation.org.uk

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