Scotland’s STEM teaching gets £400,000 boost

£400,000 has been given to Scotland’s teachers to give further access to top quality professional learning in STEM subjects. As part of Education Scotland’s Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme, additional funding has been released to support practitioners with access to resources and support in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Numeracy and Mathematics.

Launched in late 2018, the grants programme builds the capacity and confidence of practitioners to continue to support the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. This strategy offers a programme of actions for education, training and lifelong learning in Scotland to achieve national goals for STEM. £200K of the grant funding will be ring-fenced for numeracy and mathematics to support the actions outlined in Education Scotland’s thematic review of mathematics, Multiplying Skills and Adding Value, and the recommendations within the Making Maths Count report.

Funding will help practitioners across all sectors including early learning and childcare, primary, secondary, additional support needs, community learning and development and school-based technical support staff.

The grants programme has been developed following extensive consultation with stakeholders and has been informed by the findings from Annual STEM Practitioner Surveys. A significant focus of the programme is to address the barriers that practitioners face in accessing professional learning that meets their needs.

Gayle Gorman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Chief Executive of Education Scotland, said: 

'Education Scotland is delighted to announce this funding boost as part of our grants programme. Through our research we found that lack of funding can often be a barrier to accessing STEM subjects and this fund is dedicated to equipping our practitioners with the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop and deliver inspirational, high-quality STEM teaching.

'STEM subjects can prepare learners for life – regardless of what profession they choose to follow. Skills they learn now can help teach them to think critically and be adept at problem solving in years to come. High quality STEM learning has the power to inspire young people to engage their curiosity in the world around them, leading them to develop relevant skills throughout their lives.'

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead said:-

'We must ensure that we are a nation that builds on its STEM enthusiasm, skills and knowledge. This funding will help equip Scotland’s practitioners with the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop and deliver inspirational, high-quality STEM teaching for all learners, across all ages and stages.

'Having more resources for STEM subjects will help teach an understanding of the world around us, as well as enhance the progression to future employment, training and advanced learning.'

The Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Programme is led by Education Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government

Further information on STEM can be found on the Education Scotland STEM Nation blog.