Feb 192019

We’ve arrived! Introducing the new Improving Gender Balance and Equality (IGBE) team within Education Scotland. We are a team of 6 officers (5 in post and 1 on their way) with a focus to embed the learning from the Improving Gender Balance pilot across all schools within Scotland. The pilot, supported by Skills Development Scotland, the Institute of Physics and Education Scotland, explored ways of addressing unconscious bias and tackling stereotypes. Its aim was to make education inclusive and accessible for all, regardless of gender.

What was the learning from the pilot?

  • Approaches impacted positively on practitioners’ practice, including but not limited to, language used, interactions, pedagogy and resources used in learning
  • The programme developed awareness and understanding of stereotypes and a willingness to challenge this among learners
  • Interventions led to a greater ethos of inclusiveness and fairness felt by learners in schools
  • There was an increased awareness of gender stereotypes and unconscious bias among practitioners and learners
  • The support provided through the programme was flexible, tailored and was aligned with all aspects of the curriculum

We have until 2022 to support all schools and early learning and childcare centres (ELCs) to ensure gender balance and equality is at the heart of learning and teaching. The timing couldn’t be better. Scotland is making great strides to tackle gender imbalances and inequality. In March 2017 the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) was initiated. The council brings a variety of women and girls, from the age of 15 years, together to raise awareness of gender inequalities in Scotland. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to champion positive progress and policy change and to be a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team. Regionally, the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Programme and the STEM Education and Training Strategy have received great support and continue to strive to develop skills for learning, life and work. Both of these areas have provided strong support for IGBE learning and have proven to provide excellent contexts for tackling gender imbalance and unconscious bias. Nationally, the Scottish Government has committed to become the first country to include LGBTI+ issues and topics within its curriculum.

UK-wide we are seeing progress too. The cracking down on sexist stereotypes in the media reflects the shift in public perception and understanding of the potential harm of perpetuating gender stereotypes. In 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) issued new rules regarding the content of adverts portraying gender stereotypes which could cause harm or offence. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released a statement in December 2018 stating that advertising has a key role to play in the depiction and reinforcement of gender stereotypes. The new rules not only apply to newspapers, magazines, television, cinema, leaflets and adverts on the internet, but also to paid-for promotional posts from celebrity endorsers or influencers on Instagram. CAP clearly states that the new code of conduct is not intended to prevent adverts from the following:

  1. Featuring glamourous/attractive/successful/aspirational/healthy people or particular lifestyles
  2. One gender only, including ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender
  3. Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects

ASA conducted research which found that the roles and aspirations depicted were often reinforcing gender stereotypes.. Girls were often portrayed in a caring role and boys were shown being more energetic. Further information and research from ASA is available online.

Education Scotland is committed to improving gender balance and equality across Scotland. Our shiny new team, who come with a wealth of experience both within and outwith the education sector, would love to hear from you. If you have done some work on improving the gender balance and/or equality within your setting and want to share that with us, please email us or tweet using the hashtag #IGBE. If you are seeking a fresh pair of eyes to come and support you on your journey, then we would love to hear from you. You can contact us at heather.earnshaw@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk. There is also a wealth of information and support available at the national improvement hub. The IGBE team look forward to hearing from and working with you.


Literature used to form this Blog;

Improving Gender Balance Scotland Pilot. Summary of Key findings along with other supporting documents can be found at   https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/Improving%20gender%20balance%203-18

National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, https://onescotland.org/equality-themes/advisory-council-women-girls/

UK advertising watchdog to crack down on sexist stereotypes, 14th Dec 2019, The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/dec/14/uk-advertising-watchdog-to-crack-down-on-sexist-stereotypers

Advertising guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence, CAP. https://www.asa.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/f39a881f-d8c9-4534-95f180d1bfe7b953.pdf

Depictions, Perceptions and Harm, The full report including supporting research documents from ASA is available at https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/depictions-perceptions-and-harm.html

Aug 222018

SLF 2018 is taking place this week and we cannot wait for our STEM Live Expo! –  a fantastic new, interactive experience with STEM demonstrations and inspirational keynote speeches.

SLF 18 STEM LIVE Demo Programme

Please  note: the sessions below may be marked as ‘full’ when you register but stand-by places are usually available – just stand outside the relevant room on the day to make use of the free spaces!

Hosted by award-winning science communicator, Dr Heather Reid, the action starts at 09.30 on Thursday 20th September in the Lomond Auditorium, and the programme is as follows:

09.30 – 10.15:             ‘Making Scotland a STEM Nation’

Hear the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, set out the Scottish Government’s vision for STEM and the ambitious plans in the national STEM Education and Training Strategy published last year.

You’ll also hear from three inspiring young people who’ll share their STEM experiences with you.

10.45 – 11.30:             STEM Expo – Part One

Get STEM-inspired! Take part in our wide range of STEM demonstration sessions; hosted and delivered by children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland. In a first for this festival, these sessions are packed full of practical ideas to inspire and motivate STEM learning across early years, primary, secondary and community learning settings.

12.00 – 12.45:             ‘Improving engagement with STEM: A science capital approach’

How do we improve, increase and widen engagement with STEM – particularly once learners leave formal education? Join Professor Louise Archer from University College London to hear more about an exciting ‘science capital’ approach which is having a significant impact on young people’s understanding of and engagement with STEM.

13.15 – 14.00:             STEM Expo – Part Two

If you enjoyed Part One, then be sure to come along to Part Two to take part in even more interactive demonstration sessions from another selection of inspirational children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland.

14.30 – 15.15:             ‘The Art of Science Communication’

Join Dr Jamie Gallagher – scientist, science communicator and salsa dance teacher – as he explores how to make STEM subjects memorable, exciting and accessible for all. Discover how fusing STEM with storytelling, art and dance can empower everyone – including even the most STEM-phobic learners and practitioners! – to connect with STEM in new and interesting ways.

15.15:                          Closing remarks

STEM Live! 2018 will be brought to a close by Gayle Gorman, the CEO of Education Scotland.


Click here to find out all you need to know about STEM Live! and the 2018 Scottish Learning Festival.

Aug 082017

Note: Year 3 of the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures Programme is just about to be launched. Watch our Sciences Glow Yammer feed and Twitter feed @EdScotSciences to avoid missing out!

Blog by Stephanie Leitch

I was inspired to apply for the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures’ New York Academy of Sciences programme by an article I read on the Education Scotland website. Having completed a very enjoyable research programme, through Nuffield last summer, I was keen to continue to build on my STEM academic studies through such a prestigious programme as 1000 girls. While never expecting to be accepted, I submitted my application with my fingers crossed. I was delighted when I received my acceptance email from the organisers at the New York Academy of Science a few weeks later. Shortly after, I was allocated an online mentor to guide me through the four modules of work.

As I plan to study medicine after the summer, it was very appropriate that my mentor Rachel Nelson has direct experience of that field. Rachel is currently working and in up State New York on her Biomedical sciences PhD and plans to attend medical school in Tennessee when she completes her studies. Our shared love of medicine and country music made it easy for us to get along and Rachel was able to give me valuable advice and support in completing the modules of the programme.

Girls who complete the 1000 girls, 1000 Futures programme are invited to attend a three day Global Summit, hosted by the New York Academy of Science (NYAS). This conference is held in New York World Trade Centre 7 and unites students from various programmes facilitated by NYAS. Fortunately, I was able to combine a family holiday with attending the conference, to give me this fantastic opportunity. The biggest challenge actually proved to be overcoming the heat! While taking the subway downtown in the morning from 63rd Street to lower Manhattan sounds extremely glamorous, doing it in temperatures of over 100 degrees is anything but! However, spending three days listening to world class speakers, in the company of students from around the world in the prestigious setting of the World Trade Centre was an amazing climax to a wonderful trip.

The summit is a mixture of practical exercises and inspiring speeches from members of the NYAS. On the first day we listened to a keynote speech from Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter Senior Vice President at PepsiCo’s Global R&D. We also attended a workshop, teaching us how to tell our STEM stories and present ourselves as credible leaders by presenting to small groups.

On the second day I was given the opportunity to attend a field trip, related to a STEM subject. I chose the Air and Nautical museum, down on the lower east side of Manhattan. This proved to be a fascinating experience where we were shown round this world class facility. The highlight of the whole event came when I was asked to participate as a panel member answering questions from around 100 younger people on my chosen route into science. While this was initially nerve wracking it turned into a fun and enjoyable experience which has greatly boosted my confidence in presenting to large groups, though I’m not entirely sure they understood my Scottish accent!

The whole conference culminated in an awards ceremony in which students from the Junior Academy of Science, Next Scholar and 1000 girls were recognized for their contribution to the online platforms and science related challenges throughout the year.

While 1000 girls is open to students from around the world I was delighted to find that there were three other Scottish girls (Alice Ridely, Zoe Porter, Hannah Strang) in attendance, though surprisingly no one from England! We became good friends during the three days, taking the opportunity to socialize at the informal get-togethers, at the end of each day.

Successful completion of the 1000 girls, 1000 futures programme makes me eligible to apply for junior membership of the New York Academy of Science which I intend to do over the next few weeks. I owe a massive debt of thanks to the organisers of the 1000 girls programme who made all of this possible and hope to be able to repay them by becoming a mentor in my own right.

As for my future, it’s a case of swapping the NYC subway for the Airdrie to Queen Street ‘express’ in September, to study medicine at Glasgow University, though guaranteed it won’t quite hit the 100 degrees!

Stephanie Leitch

North Lanarkshire

For further resources, research and guidance on improving gender balance in STEM visit Education Scotland’s dedicated page on the National Improvement Hub.

Feb 032017



STEM Insight






The STEM Insight programme offers staff in schools and colleges a unique chance to experience STEM-related work in industrial settings.

You will be able to participate in a placement with an employer, be supported by face-to-face and online CPD from STEM Learning and SSERC, and learn more about diverse career paths and opportunities for your students.

If you are from a local authority school or college you will receive generous financial support to cover the cost of participating in the programme from Project ENTHUSE. The fee for participating in the STEM Insight programme is £283+VAT, with a £1450 bursary for a ten day placement and a £800 bursary for a five day placement.

For more information visit http://bit.ly/STEMINSIGHT or contact sts@sserc.org.uk


Jan 242017

Gender Balance logoImproving Gender Balance Scotland, the partnership project between the Institute of Physics, Education Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, has recently launched part of their suite of resources for schools looking to counter gender stereotyping.Primary child putting work on a board

The resources include PSHE lessons on gender and stereotyping, classroom interaction monitoring templates and a poster of top tips on inclusive learning. The resources can be found on the IOP’s website here.

As part of this launch Skills Development Scotland have released a short film including some work by Duloch Primary School, as well as a written case study of the work to date. The project page and the film can be seen on SDS’s page here, and the case study here.




Oct 042016


Technician – (Fixed Term or Secondment)

We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and creative individual to join the SSERC team which is dedicated to building capacity in Scotland for high quality CPD for science teachers and technical support staff. In addition to proven subject expertise, you must have an appropriate mix of practical, science, technology and ICT skills to contribute to a flexible technical support service across the sciences and technology, with a high regard to Health and Safety.

You should hold an SCQF level 5 qualifications in a relevant subjects and previous experience in a similar post is essential.

Further Details can be found at http://www.sserc.org.uk/index.php/vacancies/3430-vacancies-october-2014


Oct 042016


Senior Technician – (Fixed Term or Secondment)

We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and creative individual to join the SSERC team which is dedicated to building capacity in Scotland for high quality CPD for science teachers and technical support staff. In addition to proven subject expertise, you must have an appropriate mix of practical, science, technology and ICT skills to contribute to a flexible technical support service across the sciences and technology, with a high regard to Health and Safety.

You should hold an HNC or equivalent level qualification in a relevant subject and previous experience in a similar post is essential.

Further Details can be found at http://www.sserc.org.uk/index.php/vacancies/3430-vacancies-october-2014

Oct 042016


Education Officer – Technology

As an enthusiastic professional, you will join a motivated team who provide an advisory service which supports science and technology education in Scottish schools. You will develop close working relationships with Local Authority officers and other key stakeholders in Scottish technology education.

You will have at least 5 years teaching experience in a wide range of technology subjects in the school education sector. You will have experience in supporting career long professional learning (CLPL) and an understanding of the CLPL needs for teachers, PTs, HOFs and school support staff.

Complementing your professional expertise, you will bring excellent team playing, communication and organisational skills, an interest in Health and Safety in an educational environment and a love of practical work. The ideal candidate must be confident with using software on both PC and Apple platforms and can demonstrate experience using CAD software packages e.g. CREO 2.0 or Autodesk Inventor. We are particularly keen to hear from applicants who have a passion for both workshop machinery and programmable devices.

This is a full-time, high profile role based in Dunfermline. It will involve regular visits to locations throughout Scotland. There is plenty of scope for personal and professional development offered to the post holder.

The post is offered on a 12 month secondment or fixed term basis.

Further Details can be found at http://www.sserc.org.uk/index.php/vacancies/3430-vacancies-october-2014

Completed application forms should be submitted with a covering letter to STS@sserc.org.uk .

Applications should arrive no later than 7/10/16


May 042016

We want to hear from girls in secondary school – What would make you interested in STEM?

equateEquate Scotland is the national organisation working to increase the number of girls and women studying and working in STEM. As part of their work they are completing a national piece of research on what girls in secondary school want to see in STEM over the next 10 years and what would get them more interested in science, technologies etc.

Equate are hoping to get as many responses as possible from teachers, pupils, and other education providers to help inform future projects in schools and workplaces across Scotland. If you could spend a few minutes completing this survey, and share it with your networks, it would be appreciated.

Please find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/STEM10years

Equate Scotland would really appreciate it if you could send this round to girls in S1- S6 to complete. Their responses will be anonymous and will be included in the final report launched at the Scottish Parliament later this year.

To find out more about the work of Equate Scotland see their website at http://www.equatescotland.org.uk/

Mar 032016

Engineering the future for girlsEngineering the Future for Girls @ the University of Strathclyde:  20th-24th June 2016

Strathclyde University have launched a new 1 week Summer School for S3 girls. Engineering the Future for Girls is being delivered in collaboration with BP and is designed to engage girls in a wide range of engineering challenges that will inspire them to become the next generation of engineers. The summer school is fully-funded by BP and all student costs, including travel, will be covered. Strathclyde will accept applications from girls with any range of subject choices at National 5. The summer school is non-residential and therefore pupils should be able to make their way each day to the Strathclyde University Campus in the heart of Glasgow City Centre.

Pupils should apply at http://www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/outreach/engineeringthefutureforgirls using the online application form. The deadline for applications is 1st April 2016.

If you would like any further information on the Summer School then please email: engineeringthefutureforgirls@strath.ac.uk



Report a Glow concern  Cookie policy  Privacy policy

Glow Blogs uses cookies to enhance your experience on our service. By using this service or closing this message you consent to our use of those cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy.