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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-04270

Date lodged: 8 November 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government how it will improve the teaching of STEM subjects in secondary schools.

Current status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17 November 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government's STEM Education and Training Strategy has set out a range of actions designed to support STEM teaching and learning in Scotland’s secondary schools.

Measures include supporting the STEM enhanced professional learning grants programme operated by Education Scotland. Round 3, operating in financial year 2021-22, will provide professional learning to an estimated 13,400 practitioners in 759 establishments, with funding to the secondary sector benefitting 4,280 practitioners in 233 establishments.

Education Scotland issues annual STEM practitioner surveys to gather evidence about practitioner priorities and provision to ensure grant funding, as well as regional and national support, provides high-quality professional learning that meets the needs of practitioners.

Education Scotland’s regional improvement teams work closely at local authority, regional and national levels to support STEM professional learning and teacher networks to help them improve practice. The Improving Gender Balance and Equalities Team also work within the regions to improve STEM teaching approaches to ensure all learners benefit, irrespective of gender or protected characteristic.

Through the pandemic Education Scotland has worked with partners to collate and develop over 9,000 STEM resources to support remote learning. These are now available nationally to teachers, learners and parents through the National e-Learning Offer website.

Scottish Government is supporting an education bursary initiative designed to offer up to 150 STEM bursaries to encourage more people to train as secondary school teachers in STEM subjects. We are also supporting the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) to provide teacher professional learning opportunities for secondary science, technology and digital skills development. Courses are open to student teachers, probationers, classroom teachers as well as school leaders.

We continue to invest in work to develop the capacity of teachers and school leaders to deliver inspiring STEM courses; including a Young STEM Leader awards programme that aims to inspire and reward young people to take up STEM subjects and encourage their peers to do so.