STEM in early years education


About the Inquiry



 STEM experiences in early years education

The Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee is a group of MSPs from a range of political parties that holds the Scottish Government and its agencies to account for education policy, including looking at how policy is working in practice.

We have decided to do an inquiry into STEM, in particular experiences of 3 to 7 year olds in childcare and school education.

The work will explore the extent to which STEM subjects are included in the learning experiences of those aged 3-7 and the impact that this has on young people including broadening their horizons, developing an interest in particular STEM disciplines and eventually leading to future careers.

The work will explore whether teachers have the skills, confidence and resources to teach these subjects alongside many other areas in the curriculum. It will also look at the success of different STEM initiatives, including those supported by schools, businesses, science centres etc. The Committee wants to hear about the barriers to success for these initiatives and also how best practice can be shared.

At the end of the inquiry, we will take evidence from a Government minister based on the views we have heard and then we will produce recommendations to the Scottish Government including on ways to help further support valuable STEM work.    

The call for views is closed now         


27 March 2019

We held a round table session at the Committee meeting on 27 March 2019.The purpose of the session was to scope a topic for an inquiry into STEM.

The meeting papers, official report and video from the meeting are below.

The video from 27 March 2019 can be viewed here.   

Submissions for the 27 March 2019

27 March 2019

Supplementary submissions following 27 March

Follow up submissions have been received from several of the witnesses from the Committee meeting on 27 March 2019.

5th June 2019

The Committee held its first evidence session on the inquiry on 5 June 2019 and it heard evidence from teachers, the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and from a representative of the Glasgow Science centre.

View the Committee meeting  from 5 June 2019 here.

12th June 2019

The second evidence session was held on 12 June 2019. The Committee heard evidence from teachers and academics.

View the Committee meeting  from 12 June 2019 here.

26th June 2019

The third evidence session was held on 26 June 2019.  

View the Committee meeting from 26 June 2019 here.


Call for views – submissions received

The Committee decided to hold an inquiry into STEM for 3 to 7 year olds. It launched a call for written views in April 2019 and the following submissions were received.


Trade Unions

The EIS wrote to the Committee to advise that intend to put in a full submission in due course. The holding letter is linked below, this details the key themes that will be in the submission.


Nurseries/ Family Learning Centres/ Schools

Local Authorities

STEM Development Officers (RAiSE programme)


Mrs Susan Boyd a Primary school teacher sent us the results of a survey carried out with the staff and prefects from Breadalbane Academy Primary. Links to the survey results are below


For anyone under 13 years of age, we will need to ask a parent or guardian to confirm to us that they are happy for the young person to send us their views. We have published a specific privacy notice for young people. In this case please contact the Committee clerks, using the contact details above, who will provide the necessary form. 

To find out how the Scottish Parliament treats your personal data please read the Privacy Notice for written submissions.

Visits and Events

 Primary Science Education Conference and Children’s Conference – 7 June 2019 

Members of the Committee attended the Primary Science Education Conference the visit included four sessions; meeting with the organisers of the conference, a roundtable session with primary teachers, meeting with exhibitors in the main conference and attending the children’s conference.


The Convener wrote to the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science regarding STEM related funding.

The Convener wrote to the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) regarding the STEM in early years education inquiry

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