SUBJECTS in schools should follow the “aspirations and talents” of students, a leading Bolton education figure has said.

Philip Britton, who is head of Bolton School Boys’ Division and vice-president of education for the Institute of Physics, spoke out after concerns that fewer teenagers could study science-based subjects as a result of the government’s decision to change the way qualifications are funded.

Reforms mean that state schools and colleges will no longer receive extra money to provide sciences, which are more costly to run as they are practical subjects.

In a letter to ministers, the Science Community Representing Education group, which includes the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Biology, argued that the changes could mean science departments end up cutting teaching time, axing resources for practical work or employing cheaper and less experienced staff.

Under the previous system, schools and colleges were funded per qualification for 16 to 19-year-olds, with extra money for more expensive science qualifications.

Changes mean that from September schools and colleges will be funded per student, with other courses worth the same as science.The department for education said changes should not impact on science students and that the reforms were to make funding fairer.

Mr Britton said: “The subjects studied in schools should follow the aspirations and talents of students, not reflect capricious funding regimes.