In June 2017, Education Scotland issued an online survey to the early years, primary and secondary sectors to find out more about the STEM career-long professional learning (CLPL) landscape and to identify the needs and priorities of practitioners and school-based technical support staff.
The survey findings provided important information and evidence which helped to shape the development of the national STEM Education and Training Strategy. This was published in October 2017 and is available from the following link: http://bit.ly/STEMstrategy
Key findings include:
· Lack of funding, time, workload and geographical barriers remain the biggest barrier to practitioners and technicians accessing career-long professional learning
· Strong support for online learning and modular learning to allow people to access professional learning flexibly anytime, anywhere
· More localised support including from mentors would be welcomed
· Practitioners and technicians want more opportunities to learn and collaborate with peers in their schools and clusters
· Partnerships with employers are an important source of professional learning and learning about STEM careers is seen as a high priority.
The information provided by practitioners and technicians through the survey responses has been extremely valuable. The findings have helped to inform decisions about the ‘coherent national offer’ of professional learning that is being planned in relation to STEM subjects.
Education Scotland is excited about the potential for increasing support in relation to STEM over the course of this academic year and beyond. We are already in the process or recruiting a team of new STEM Education Officers and Numeracy officers to support this. We are also just about to recruit a new team of Improving Gender Balance and Equalities officers to provide further support within the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives.
We’ll be releasing further details in the months ahead as plans are finalised and approved and as new resources and programmes go live. In the meantime, we’d like to give a sincere ‘thank-you’ to all those who promoted and completed the survey. In doing so, you have played a significant role in shaping the plans and decisions that will help to make Scotland a STEM nation.
Download the key findings: