Celebrations as Science Learning Centre comes to the North East
(13 January 2004)
The University of Durham is delighted that a North East consortium from education, business and industry has been chosen to create the region's first Science Learning Centre.
The Science Learning Centre North East, based at Framwellgate School Durham, will deliver high quality continuing professional development to science teachers from across the region who in turn will pass their knowledge onto their students.
In partnership, the Universities of Durham, Newcastle, Sunderland and Teesside, Framwellgate School, Durham County Council, Life Knowledge Park, Northumbrian Water plc and Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd have been selected by the Department for Skills and Education and the Wellcome Trust to be part of the £51m initiative to support a national network of Science Learning Centres.
Professor Richard Gott from Durham University said: "The North East has a great need for scientifically skilled and literate pupils who are growing up in a rapidly changing community following the cutbacks in the region's manufacturing base.
"Through the Centre we hope to give teachers the support and resources to enthuse and educate the next generation of scientists. To do this the Centre will bring together internationally famous scientists from world class University departments, industry leaders and innovative educators. We look forward to working with science teachers and our partners from across the region."
The £2m purpose built centre, which is underwritten by Durham County Council, will be constructed on land next to Framwellgate School Durham. The centre will house newly furbished labs and advanced ICT facilities.
A range of courses will be offered by the centre drawing on the wealth of science expertise available around the region. Teachers, technicians and classroom assistants will have the opportunity to sample industry practices, advanced developments in science as well gain support in developing teaching practices.
"This important initiative is not only fundamental to the economic regeneration of the region but is also an exciting opportunity for Framwellgate School and the whole of County Durham," said Councillor Ken Manton, Leader of Durham County Council.
"It's a chance to ensure science teaching in the North East is world class.
The school, ourselves as the Local Education Authority and the University of
Durham will be key players in providing cutting edge professional training for
science teachers from all over the region.
"Durham LEA has made a significant commitment to this project and will play a leading role in the development of the centre's training programme as well as underwriting the costs of the proposed state of the art building at the heart of the project.
"Teachers will gain enormously from the centre being provided in a school context, while the County, and Framwellgate School in particular, will benefit from the work of centre and the prestige that it brings."
Head teacher, Joan Sjovoll, said: "Framwellgate School has worked extremely hard to bring about this project and we are delighted to host it and contribute in a significant way to the development of this centre."
The North East Centre will be one of up to nine regional centres within the network of Science Learning Centres, due to open from October 2004. The Science Learning Centre North East will open in January 2005 in a purpose built facility at Framwellgate School in Durham City.
13 January 2004
Helen Swain, Public Relations Office, University of Durham 0191 334 0017
Durham County Council Press Office, 0191 383 3379
Mrs Joan Sjovoll, Head Teacher, Framwellgate School Durham, 0191 386 6628
Notes To Editors
- Spring 2004: Launch of full website, including booking for the first Science Learning Centres courses
- October 2004: Opening of the first regional Science Learning Centres
- January 2005: Opening of remaining regional Science Learning Centres
- Autumn 2005: Opening of the National Science Learning Centre
- The investment from DfES and Wellcome Trust will support the creation of the national network of Science Learning Centres and will contribute to the running costs of the centres on an annually decreasing basis. The regional centres will be funded for five years, the national centre will be funded for ten years, after which point all the centres will be expected to be self sufficient.
- There is a single website serving the entire network at: www.sciencelearningcentres.org.uk