Taverham High School in Norfolk are holding the CLEAPSS Working with Glass course on Thursday 19th April. The closing date was 14th March 2018, but CLEAPSS have given the school a couple of more days to find people as they need 3 more people to meet minimum requirement. if you are interested in attending this course please find more details here


This one-day practical course will provide technicians with the knowledge and skills required to make most of the simple bends, and other items required for gas preparation, in most secondary school science departments. It will also demonstrate how some items of broken glass equipment can be repaired.


World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.  He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.

The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

Professor Brian Cox described Stephen hawking’s as being “undoubtedly one of the most brilliant scientists of our time”.

Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Prof Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, has paid tribute to "the funniest man".

Some of Stephen Hawkings greatest quotes

  • Trump stance could damage Earth - Hawking
  • On black holes: "Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen" - The Nature Of Space And Time, published 1996
  • On the reason why the universe exists: "If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God" - A Brief History Of Time, published 1988
  • On God: "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going" - The Grand Design, published 2010
  • On commercial success: "I want my books sold on airport bookstalls"- Interview in The New York Times, December 2004
  • On fame: "The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognised. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away" - Interview on Israeli TV, December 2006

CPD has an impact - on teachers and technicians, their colleagues, their school or college and their students - and this deserves to be celebrated.

So, whether you’ve undertaken CPD at our National STEM Learning Centre in York, through our network of Science Learning Partnerships, via our online CPD, or with one of partners in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland - we want to celebrate your commitment to CPD and the impact that it has had on you, your students and your school or college.

The ENTHUSE Celebration Awards are free to enter, and raise the profile of dedicated teachers, technicians, schools and colleges across the UK.

What’s involved

Each year we hold heats across the UK, where we select regional winners. These winners will then go on to the national final, where our finalists will be announced at a glittering awards event at the Houses of Parliament. Could you be accepting an award next year?

How to apply

Applications for the 2018 ENTHUSE Celebrations are now open.  You can download our guidance document for further details on the application process.  The deadline for applications is 1 April 2018.

There's less than a month left to nominate yourself, or someone you know, for an award!

We had a fantastic three days on this course which took pace at St. Louise's College in Belfast. The College is quite impressive.

The first two days were conducted by the legendary Simon Quinnell who covered all of the Physics and Chemistry practicals that are now prescribed practicals on the N. Ireland GCSE syllabus.

Simon is very subject knowlegeable and also very enthusiastic about our roles as science technician offering plenty of helpful suggestions so that we could work more smarter rather than work more harder.

The third day was carried out by the beautiful Marie Guineess. Marie is no stranger to delivering STEM courses. I attended one of her courses last year. So, it was great to meet Marie again who delivered the Biology component of the STEM course in both a professional relaxed and friendly manner.

Marie, who is also a highly experienced Science Technician, and was able to draw upon the combined pool of knowledge from the people who attended the course. As a result, each person came away at the end of the day with the maximum help and benefit from this worthwhile course. 

A great three days from both instructors. Learning new ideas from new techs which I have now met alongside a chance to say Hi to a few familiar faces.

As the Beast from the East bears down upon us, many schools are forced to close and for others, staff may have to struggle to get into work. Principals and head teachers do not make the decision to close schools lightly.

There are so many factors which must be considered. These include, having the necessary staff to actually teach or supervise students as well as considering the safety of both staff and students while they are on the premises.? Your school employer must also follow a set of regulations when the weather gets too cold. All of these decisions should be made in a reasonable time.

What's the minimum temperature for schools to close?

The minimum temperatures for school classrooms is set by the Education School Premises Regulations 1999. It states that the heating systems must be able to heat rooms to a minimum of 18°C, which must be maintained while the room is in use. This requirement also applies to private study and examinations rooms. But NOT to staff rooms or prep rooms which are covered largely by The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (or Northern Ireland) 1993 If you do have to go into work, then what are your rights? 

[TecHKnow Wiki article| Read more here]

If you are a Science Technician working in Secondary School Science in the SELB board area of Northern Ireland, you may be interested in this

Would you be interested in becoming a member of a Technician’s Networking Group for the technician’s in the “SELB” area. This would be a new group and only comprised of Secondary School Technicians from SELB schools?

 It would involve meeting up once a term and discussing issues and practical’s that we are having difficulty with, and networking with other technicians that you perhaps have emailed or spoken to on the phone but have never met in person!

We can also incorporate small workshops / make and take sessions into these meetings if this is what you would like also.

I would be willing to co-ordinate this group and I would propose that the first meeting could take place on Thursday 15th March in St Patrick’s High School Keady at 4pm to 6pm (time is flexible and open to discussion).

We can discuss the finer workings of the group at this initial meeting. If you are interested in becoming a member of this Technicians Networking Group then let me know by emailing me at the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  as soon as you can. Hoping to hear from you all.


Funding cuts have forced secondary schools to shed 15,000 staff over two years – as pupil numbers have risen by more than twice that amount, according to unions.

An analysis of government data by the School Cuts coalition of education unions shows that in the two years from 2015-16, when per-pupil funding levels started to fall, secondary schools have lost 5.5 staff members on average.

This equates to 2.4 fewer classroom teachers, 1.6 fewer teaching assistants and 1.5 fewer support staff such as science technicians.

With school leaders having a lack of understanding of the role of science technicians, they usually are considered easy options for cut backs. This is set hard against the tone of recent reports which are encouraging schools to develop policies to improve the effective delivery of science education in our schools

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, has warned the government that school budgets were at “breaking point”. “School leaders have made every other possible efficiency and now it is impossible for many schools to avoid making redundancies, to continue to keep class sizes at an acceptable level, and to offer a full and rounded curriculum to all pupils. [Read TES - https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/secondary-schools-shed-15000-staff-due-damaging-funding-cuts  (February)]


The Practical Work in Science study is nearing the end of its final year of data collection.

The study, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation with a contribution from the Wellcome Trust, investigates how practical science in schools has been changing during a period of curriculum change and budgetary constraints.

Over 2,000 respondents from 1,220 schools and colleges in England and Scotland took part in the survey this year. We were especially impressed with the response from science technicians: over 1,200 of you gave us feedback about your role and the resources and equipment for practical work in your school.

The findings of the study will be published in 2018.

If you would like to be notified when the report is available, please contact us to be added to the mailing list for this purpose: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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