Nuffield Science in Practice 1991

Directors: Andrew Hunt and Nicholas Russell

In 1991 the British government announced that the National Council of Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) would be setting up a new general vocational qualification to replace BTECs. The Royal Society of Chemistry and others campaigned for GNVQs in science.

Nuffield Science in Practice was the first Nuffield project to work extensively with teachers in FE colleges. The project team contributed to the development of GNVQ specifications.



The new GNVQ specifications had many mysterious and novel features because NCVQ adopted an idiosyncratic approach to defining the mastery learning required. The first of the project publications, GNVQ Science: your questions answered (1994) sought to demystify the new programmes. The project, in partnership with Heinemann the publishers, went on to publish textbooks and files of assignments for the Intermediate and Advanced level courses between 1995 and 1996.

The project helped to set up a network of user groups which teachers starting the new courses found very helpful.

The project had a short life due to the excessive instability of the GNVQ specifications. BTECs never went away and are now established alongside applied qualifications within the GCSE and GCE frameworks.

The Nuffield Foundation learnt a lot from the experience and was subsequently able to apply this knowledge to the development of the Additional Applied Science course in the Twenty First Century Science programme.

Also on the web

Download the resources from the STEM Centre website. See particularly Your questions answered: introduction and guide to GNVQ science.

Nuffield Science in Practice