EXPERTS recommending pupils should study maths and science longer are ‘unrealistic’ according to East Lancashire educators.

All pupils should study maths and science until the age of 18 as part of a broad-based, baccalaureate-style qualification, according to the Royal Society.

The leading science body said it is the only way to end a recruitment shortage in technology fields and provide more scientists in the UK.

However Les Turner, from the National Association of Headteachers in Lancashire, said it would take too much time away from pupils’ own choice of study.

The Royal Society report, written by a committee of scientists, education experts, teachers and former education secretary Charles Clarke, calls for increased investment in practical and problem-solving work in science and mathematics education from reception until sixth form, including access to adequately equipped laboratories and well-trained teachers.

However Mr Turner said sixth formers were preparing for specialised university courses related to a specific field.

He said: “Those people who want to pursue maths and science will already have decided to do so. If you want to be a historian or a journalist, it is not much good getting a more extended education in science and maths.

“It isn’t clear where the extra time would come from to study two very large subjects, without it harming your own chosen A Levels. I don’t think it is realistic that teenagers will be able to do both.”

Sir Martin Taylor, the warden of Merton College, Oxford, who chaired the Royal Society committee, said the aim was to link learning and skills to the current and future needs.