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were introduced in 2002 as part of the now defunct Specialist Schools Programme
The specialist schools programme was a UK government initiative which encouraged secondary schools in England to specialise in certain areas of the curriculum to boost achievement. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust was responsible for the delivery of the programme...
in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
. The system enabled secondary schools to specialise in certain fields, in this case, science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...
. Schools that successfully applied to the Specialist Schools Trust and became Science Colleges received extra funding from this joint private sector and government scheme. Science Colleges also acted as a local point of reference for other schools and businesses in the area, with an emphasis on promoting science within the community.
The funding received by such Colleges was dependent on the number of pupils currently attending and was on average approximately £1,600. The funding was often used by schools to upgrade their facilities to a standard befitting a "Specialist" institution. A proportion of the money was used to spread the skills of the school into the local community, often involving outreach centres or adult education schemes.