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Science exam success is great news for the economy

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Today’s exam results show a sharp rise in the number of teenagers in state maintained schools opting to take Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs separately. This is positive news for the UK economy as the government’s agenda for increasing the number of students taking Triple Science GCSE’s takes shape, and we create a new generation of world class scientists. Through the Triple Science Support Programme, LSN has been instrumental in helping to increase the numbers of schools offering separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics to their pupils. According to LSN, today’s exam results are great news for the economy and a step towards producing more scientists that can lead on the global stage.

The LSN analysis shows that:

* the number of students in England taking Biology GCSE rose by 15,384 between 2008 and 2009, which is an increase of 18%.

* An extra 15,590 students took Chemistry GCSE, compared to summer 2008, representing a rise of over 20%.

* The number of students taking Physics GCSE rose by 15,796, which is a rise of 21%.

Andrew Parsons, Assistant Director, Schools and Local Authorities at LSN commented: “The rise in the number of people taking separate Chemistry, Biology and Physics GCSEs is great news for the economy. Today’s results show that we’re beginning to equip young people with the science skills that we need to secure the next generation of world class scientists and to support our future economic success.”

LSN’s Triple Science Support Programme enables schools in England to overcome the common difficulties that prevent them from offering their pupils the opportunity to study for separate Chemistry, Biology and Physics GCSEs. Among the schools that have taken part in the programme, it is expected that there will be a 22% rise in the number of teenagers enrolling to do Triple Science GCSEs in September 2009.

Commenting on the impact of Triple Science GCSEs, Joe White, Head Teacher at St Michael’s RC School (Specialist School for Science and Applied Learning) in Billingham, Teeside, said: “Over the past three years the number of students taking Triple Science GCSEs at our school has increased by 33% and they are inspired by the challenges it provides. They have a better understanding of the impact that science can have on their earning potential, range of possible careers and job satisfaction. They are excited at the prospect of continuing to study science post-16, and the potential of a working life that enables them to engage with the global issues that benefit our communities, society and the planet.”

The Triple Science Support Programme is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). It is run in partnership with the National Network of Science Learning Centres, the Institute of Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics.

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