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Budgeting

It is essential that the science curriculum area is allocated an adequate budget each year to cover the cost of new purchases, maintenance, and consumables. Some primary and intermediate schools budget up to $35 per student per year for science. The teacher in charge of science is responsible for making a strong, realistic case for budget allocation to the principal and board of trustees. Teachers should not have to provide incidental classroom resources themselves. Some schools allocate each teacher a discretionary budget of $50–100 for this purpose.

Planning for purchasing should be carried out when long-term teaching plans are formulated. At this stage, lists of required resources can be made. The teacher responsible for science can then work from these lists to prepare, for the year’s programme, a budget and a purchase plan that meet the needs of all staff. It may be necessary to prioritise some purchasing or spread payment over a period of time.

Preparing a long-term science plan (3–5 years) may be helpful for buying more expensive capital items. These may include microscopes, LEGO Technic, meters, and sophisticated measuring instruments such as barometers, anemometers, and balances. Small schools may find it useful to pool resources with other schools for buying more expensive capital items and establishing a local science resource library.

The school budget also needs to allow for the purchase of learning materials for students and curriculum materials for teachers, including subscriptions to magazines and science teacher associations.


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