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The Science Learning Centres were set up following the critical Roberts Review into the shortage of skills in the engineering and scientific sectors in England. Roberts took the view that the prosperity of the nation was linked to the supply of scientists and engineers and that much of the blame for the shortages lay in school education. He noted the 'poor standard of school laboratories and the quality of pupils' learning experiences in practical classes.' He also identified problems in recruitment and retention and a lack of teachers with specialised subject knowledge. Roberts felt that continuing professional development (CPD) was vital to improving the quality of science teaching. It is therefore no surprise that he recommended an improvement in the take up of science related CPD and hence a change in the culture of CPD amongst science teachers. The Science Learning Centre Network has been established to address the science skills shortages by helping teachers to deliver contemporary science in the classroom and promote a change in the prevailing cultural attitudes towards CPD.