What is PSQM?

Primary Science Quality Mark is not like other quality marks: it is a year-long CPD programme that helps schools to achieve a quality mark, whether science within the school has been a low profile for a while or the school wants to improve the provision further. It focuses on developing effective, confident science leadership for whole school impact on science teaching and learning.


  • Enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science. The process of achieving a PSQM  raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school.
  • Supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. Working with an expert hub leader subject leaders evaluate current provision for science and put in place a development cycle that leads to sustained progress in science across the school.
  • Ensures strong and positive impact: Children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally. Teachers and children enjoy their science lessons.

I think it is a hugely beneficial process for any science leader to go through. Apart from the fact it guides you in thinking through areas to develop it also validates and celebrates the impact you are having as a leader, giving you a mandate to make further accelerated developments moving forward.

The process helped us to really focus on a clear vision for the school, a better understanding of embedding Science and how to implement quality teaching.

PSQM has helped me to learn more about myself as a subject leader. It has provided me with a structure and a path to explore teaching, learning and leadership in a different way while providing me with support and encouragement along the way. Although gathering evidence and meeting deadlines was challenging while teaching full time at the same time, I would say it was definitely worthwhile and I definitely feel more confident as well as incredibly proud of my role as a science subject leader.

Round 18 subject leaders

What are the Primary Science Quality Marks?

There are three different Primary Science Quality Marks to ensure that all schools can achieve the accreditation. Primary Science Quality Marks are intended to be school appropriate, and provide a framework for improvement and development in leadership and provision, whatever the starting point.

The PSQM self-evaluation and development framework consists of 4 aims (5 for PSQM Outreach), identifying goals for:

  • science subject leadership
  • science teaching
  • science learning
  • wider opportunities in science.

To achieve a Primary Science Quality Mark, schools submit evidence of the impact of a range of activities required to meet one of three sets of PSQM criteria that define the aims:

The criteria are differentiated for each Primary Science Quality Mark to ensure that there is appropriate challenge and development for all schools, whatever their starting point. Over 60% of schools begin with PSQM, but for some schools, where effective leadership is already embedded, the other quality marks provide the right development goals.

For schools which demonstrate how effective science leadership is beginning to have an impact on science teaching and learning across the school.

For schools which demonstrate how established science leadership is having a sustained impact on science teaching and learning across the school.

For schools which meet the PSQM Gilt criteria and also demonstrate impact of science leadership, teaching and learning on other schools.

This PSQM special edition of the ASE Primary Science magazine is packed with subject leaders' stories about their PSQM experiences. Read it here to find out what happened in their schools.

"PSQM is the reason so many of us learnt how to be a science leader and PSQM signposted us to the  amazing community of support that exists in primary science... Best CPD I ever did... I have alot to say thank you for. X"
Claire Seeley (@seeley_claire) January 6, 2018

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