Reading and research

STEM Strategy

The STEM Education and Training Strategy aims to build Scotland’s capacity to deliver excellent STEM learning, and to close equity gaps in participation and attainment in STEM. It also aims to inspire young people and adults to study STEM, and to provide a better connection between STEM education and training and the needs of the labour market in Scotland.






STEM strategy for Education and Trainingfirst annual report

Overview of the key outcomes of year one of the five year STEM Education and Training Strategy.







Second annual reportSTEM Education and Training Strategy

The second annual report published March 2020 shares further progress as part of the STEM strategy and shares some of the benefits for practitioners and young people.  A summary version is also available to download.







Young people’s science and career aspirations

The ASPIRES study sought to shed new light on our understanding of how young people’s aspirations develop over the 10-14 age period, exploring in particular what influences the likelihood of a young person aspiring to a science-related career.

ASPIRES slides

An overview of the study from Dr. Julie Moote & Professor Louise Archer, King’s College London.




The ASPIRES 2 research looks to understand how and why young people see science as being a viable option for them or not.  The research aims to inform policy and practice to support increased and equitable particpation in STEM. ASPIRES 2 investigated young people’s science and career aspirations from ages 14 to 19.  It followed those who took part in the initial Aspires project outlined above.  The evidence sources look at how science is viewed by young people, how these views change and the factors that influence their views and aspirations.





Self Evaluation and Improvement Framework

​​​This framework can be used to stimulate dialogue and action towards a whole setting approach to sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It can serve as a helpful guide or route map for settings looking to self-evaluate and improve their approach to STEM alongside the quality indicators within How good is our school? and How good is our early learning and childcare? The framework has been aligned to expectations within the STEM Education and Training Strategy, Developing the Young Workforce and links with current priorities in education.




Making Maths Count Report

The Making Maths Count Group was set up to consider how to encourage greater enthusiasm for maths amongst children and young people, their parents and carers and the wider public. This publication outlines the 10 key recommendations by the group.






Defining STEM

The tables included in this document are mentioned in the STEM Evidence Base Report which was published alongside the STEM Education and Training Strategy. The tables detail qualifications, awards, apprenticeship frameworks and subjects in which STEM features strongly.






What digital learning might look like

This exemplar has been developed to support practitioners when planning learning and teaching of the digital literacy and computing science experiences and outcomes.  This exemplar will be useful to practitioners in early years settings and primary schools.






Improving Gender Balance and Equalities (IGBE)

Resources and research for practitioners to help:

  • challenge gender stereotypes;
  • address unconscious bias;
  • improve gender balance in subject uptake and learner pathways;
  • promote whole-establishment approaches to equality.




Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

This link to the National Improvement Hub enables teachers and practitioners to access key information, resources and policies in order to support professional learning and implement DYW in practice. It also provides some examples of interesting practice.






RAiSE Evaluation Report

The Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme aims to enhance the confidence and skills of primary school practitioners to improve learning and teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.  The RAiSE pilot programme was evaluated by the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow. The full evaluation report was published in May 2019. As a result of this positive evaluation, the programme is now available to all other local authorities across Scotland on a rolling basis.





Improving Science Participation

Drawing on over five years of research conducted by the Enterprising Science project in classrooms and out-of-school settings, Kings College London and UCL have developed five key messages for policy-makers and funders who want to improve (widen and increase) young people’s engagement with science.  To continue with science post-16, young people must achieve certain levels of understanding and attainment but, crucially, young people must also feel that they fit in with science and that science is ‘for me’.




STEM book of insights

This book comes from the UK Government’s Department for Business and Innovation Skills.  It describes young people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours and how these affect decisions about subject choice and career paths.  It adds depth to current understanding of how young people can perceive STEM careers.



Skills 4.0

This paper comes from Skills Development Scotland and the Centre for Work Based Learning in Scotland. It presents a skills model to enable individuals to excel in the future.  It is relevant for consideration and use by policy makers, education and skills providers and bodies, employers and those with an interest in skills development.





Working with the Big Ideas in Science Education (2015) – Wynne Harlen sets out the rationale for working towards big ideas and the implications of this for curriculum content, pedagogy, student assessment and teacher education.







STEM: improving gender balance, equity and equality – understanding who feels STEM is ‘right’ for them and why.





Is STEM for the masculine and brainy?

STEM and self-efficacy – why are girls less likely to feel they are good at STEM?


Improving Gender Balance Literature Review (2019)







Gender Stereotypes: An introduction for practitioners





Women in STEM : An intersectional analysis of multiple discriminations(Equate, 2020)

Our careers, Our future– STEM careers provision and young people (Engineering UK, 2020)

Unlimited Potential – the final report of the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood (Fawcett Society, 2020)

Series of publications exploring gender in early years education professionals