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Primary Science Quality Mark Awarded to 99 Schools

14 June 2013

ASE is delighted to note that a further 99 schools have been awarded Primary Science Quality Mark in the summer round and that a further 276 schools will achieve the Mark in the autumn of this year. 

ASE’s CEO, Annette Smith said: “ It is a great pleasure to note that these schools are making a commitment to excellence in the teaching and learning of science in this way, and we look forward to working with PSQM as it moves into the future.”

Press Release

Ninety-nine infant, junior, primary, middle and special schools across the UK will be awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) to celebrate a commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning. A further 276 schools will receive the award in October 2013.

The first-of-its-kind award, which is recognised by Ofsted, focuses on developing and improving science education in primary schools. Now in its third year, the national programme delivered by the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Education has formed a new partnership with AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust (AZSTT) - ensuring that thousands more primary schools can take part in the award programme and to improve the quality of research in science education.

Jane Turner, PSQM Director, said: “Over 600 schools have benefitted from receiving the Mark so far. The new partnership between the University of Hertfordshire and the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust will allow the programme to continue to grow - raising the profile of science education in primary schools across the UK as well as improving the quality of teaching and learning.”

“The PSQM award is a significant achievement for schools - the standard of submissions this round has been extremely high. Science subject leaders, their colleagues, head teachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”

Professor Dudley Shallcross, AZSTT Director, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire to support and champion the PSQM programme. PSQM is already making a significant impact on the profile of science in UK primary schools and together with the AZSTT’s College of Excellent Primary Science Teachers and Education Hubs it will enable the AZSTT to achieve its ambitious aims for primary science across the UK.”  

The PSQM was originally established by the Science Learning Centre East of England at the University of Hertfordshire in 2008, supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Association for Science Education and Barnet Local Authority.

The Primary School Quality Mark scheme enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offering a clear framework for development.

The Wellcome Trust has published a report on 3 June which analyses current issues and practice in primary science using data from PSQM participants. To view the report visit

For more information about the PSQM, visit


Additional quotes:

Schools taking part in the scheme are very positive about the impact of working for the award:

“Thank you to the PSQM for helping us to raise the standards and importance of science within our school.” Hilldene Primary School, Havering Bronze PSQM award

 “For me, as Science Co-ordinator, PSQM provided a strong framework on which to develop leadership and as a result, there is a real ‘buzz’ about science from both pupils and staff.” The Ridge Primary School, Stourbridge Gold PSQM award

For more information or for interview, quote and picture requests, please contact Hannah Broady, University of Hertfordshire Press Office on 01707 284022 / 07850722646 or email

Notes to Editor

Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) is an award scheme to develop and celebrate the quality of science teaching and learning in primary schools. Schools can achieve bronze, silver and gold awards. Schools achieve a PSQM award through a year-long process of initial audit, followed by action and reflection. 

About the University of Hertfordshire 

  • The University is the UK’s leading business-facing university and an exemplar in the sector.  It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel. 
  • The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,650 staff and a turnover of almost £233 million.
  • With a student community of over 27,200 including more than 2,800 students from eighty-five different countries, the University has a global network of over 175,000 alumni. 
  • It is also one of the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old, according to the new Times Higher Education 100 under 50 rankings 2012.
  • For more information, please visit 

The AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust is a charitable trust established in 1997 by an endowment by AstraZeneca PLC. Its overarching  objective is to support and improve the education of children and young people in science in the UK. This objective is achieved by recognising  and supporting excellent primary science teachers through the AZSTT College of Primary Science Teachers, by supporting innovation in teaching through the College and AZSTT hubs based at Higher Education Institutes in the UK and through financial and other support of clusters of schools in their practice of science.. At primary science level the trust’s desire is to see confidence raised in teaching science and for teachers and pupils to enjoy science exploration 

The Association for Science Education (ASE) is the largest subject association in the UK. Members include teachers, technicians and others involved in science education. The Association plays a significant role in promoting excellence in teaching and learning of science in schools and colleges. Working closely with the science professional bodies, industry and business, ASE provides a UK-wide network bringing together individuals and organisations to share ideas and tackle challenges in science teaching, develop resources and foster high quality Continuing Professional Development. The Association for Science Education can trace its origins back to 1900. Incorporated by Royal Charter in October 2004, the ASE operates as a Registered Charity. Further details of the ASE and its regional, national and international activities can be found at its website

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. For more information, please visit: