Response 213477708

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Name
Moira Stalker

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Organisation
Food and Drink Federation Scotland

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Questions

1. Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?

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Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?
Agree with the broad definition but perhaps some reference should be made to the application of STEM fro the process on innovation and improvement to extend competitiveness and support growth of

2. Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?

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Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?
Whilst the aims of the strategy and the priority themes are appropriate, in order to achieve this STEM subjects must be contextualised to enable learners to understand their relevance to real world applications. This should be done practically from early years throughout life. Educators MUST provide STEM education and MUST be trained to provide this in inspiring and relevant ways. STEM must receive a high priority through all levels of education.

3. Are these success criteria right?

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No

4. Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?

Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?
The strategy must ensure consistent STEM education through all years. TSTE need not necessarily be seen as stand alone subjects but should also be integrated into all facets of learning to ensure learners understand its relevance and context. Workplace learning and sharing of STEM promotion by employers, voluntary organisation etc should also be included. For example the work of the network of STEM Ambassadors provide highly valued, diverse input to schools and the community which enables the relevance to real life applications to be passed on to learners and educators. This input supports the aims or the strategy and adds to the scope. Industry trade bodies and similar also support STEM education through work with schools, FE and HE and the wider community and this is also valuable and should be included.

5. Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.

Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.
Clearly the actions underway across the sectors fit well and contribute to positively. In addition early years and primary teacher training MUST ensure that practitioners are taught how to deliver STEM in an engaging manner. This can be supported by external agencies and STEM Ambassadors, but there is evidence that many early years and primary practitioners are "scared" by STEM so they too need to understand its relevance and context to real world applications. Many industry bodies and trade associations also support delivery of STEM application, with relevance to their own sectors, Food and Drink is one such sector and no reference is made to the work of this this sector http://www.fdfscotland.org.uk/sfdf/schools_programme/about_the_programme/. There will also be examples in other sectors and much can be learned from sharing good practice.

7. Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?

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No
Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?
A thorough review should be undertaken across ALL sectors to identify and understand STEM related activity.

8. What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?

What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?
A thorough review should be undertaken across ALL sectors to identify and understand STEM related activity.

9. Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?

Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?
The strategy may also wish to consider working with employer organisations and trade bodies who link directly with employers to support the strategy in a practical way. This may include; the STEM Ambassador network of individuals who have experience of working with schools and inspiring people into STEM careers and can help to identify ways in which delivery of STEM education can be practically achieved through all levels of education from the industrialists / employers perspective. To ensure that careers professionals and teachers understand the relevance of STEM careers it is vital that there is active engagement across ALL industries to ensure that this understanding is embedded. Food and drink suffers from a misconception that it is all about cooking when STEM is as it core. Other sectors will be the same so this must be established clearly.

10. Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.

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Ticked Yes
No

11. What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?

What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?
Engage with STEM Ambassadors, employers etc. to understand the application of STEM and its potential for innovation. Share activities and ideas and "shout about STEM" and how exciting it is to make things work. Take away the "fear factor" many people are scared by the thought of STEM and this needs to change. There is a requirement to make science fun and also to have an accessible figurehead for STEM that the general public can relate to. We also need to make people aware that STEM is all around us.

12. What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies.

What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies
Organisations can support the areas for action by committing to support raising attainment in STEM through their members, offering CPD and support to helping members understand and link with STEM and identifying / linking with deliverers of STEM activities. Professional organisations could encourage members to become STEM ambassadors and share learnings and disseminate good practice.

13. What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?

What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?
It would be good to have a joined up approach to supporting formal education. An example of what FDF Scotland do when delivering CPD events to promote STEM is to provide hands on activity for those attending that can be replicated in the home or in the classroom, this is supported by STEM Ambassadors, FE, HE and others and we provide certificates for those attending. We work with a very wide range of partners and organisations that all support and contribute to achievement of our agreed overall aims and the sum of what this approach can achieve is far greater than any one organisation can achieve on its own. These partners include; Education Scotland, SQA, College Development Network, FE, HE, SSERC and other trade bodes and education partners. It would also be useful if there was a central portal for sharing STEM events and materials, this could be a signposting service. The STEM Ambassador network is a good starting point for this as they already have a lot of resource.

14. Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.

Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.
I think the strategy should recognise the need for STEM across all sectors and highlight the need for every STEM subject across all jobs. The Food and Drink industry is a good example, we often suffer from a misconception that we are all about cooking and front of house, food manufacturing is all about science, technology and engineering so we have produced many materials and examples of activities and careers specifically related to the industry and how STEM subjects can be contextualised to help support understanding of how they are applied to the real world http://www.fdfscotland.org.uk/sfdf/schools_programme/resources/chemistry-videos.aspx is an example. However, that aside cooking and cheffing also required an understanding of STEM as do front of house jobs - so we need a greater awareness of the breadth of STEM and the application of these subjects to the everyday as well as the very scientific.

15. Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?

Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?
FDF Scotland strongly supports the promotion of STEM through all levels of education and wider. Organisations need to work in partnership and share resources, approaches and events. Activities should not be seen as stand alone for one age or stage but should be allowed to grow and evolve and support progression. Make STEM activities fun and support delivery of the curriculum in an accessible manner for educators at all levels.

16. Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?
The model proposed is one FDF Scotland have been delivering for several years and supports the understanding of STEM in the real world context. This model requires facilitation to ensure that partnerships can be established, thereafter, it is our experience that many do become sustainable but do need ongoing maintenance. The organisations listed do not have dedicated resources need to set up partnerships despite have a willingness to help. Having a resource that can facilitate meetings, support activities and drive the partnership is invaluable in the early stages. This resource is also valuable as it can record, document and disseminate good practice to the wider population. It can also make appropriate links and extend the reach of the activities and maximise the input of all partners. See above, the sum of many is greater that one can achieve.

17. Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?
There currently exists an excellent STEM Ambassador network that is well established and provides an superb service. FDF Scotland partner with the STEM Ambassador network and we have over 300Food and Drink Ambassadors, many of whom are STEM Ambassadors. We benefit hugely from being part of this network as they 9STEM network) provide support to teacher training events and science festivals that we attend / organise and help us deliver curriculum support activities by providing their expertise to help develop relevant activities. Our Ambassadors also benefit by receiving training, networking with other like minded STEM professionals, PVG Clearance and are covered by insurance. It does not make sense to set up a Scottish STEM ambassador network when a superb network already exists that is doing sterling work to promote STEM. The links with the existing and well established network should be further strengthened and used to support development of the STEM Implementation plan to save time and to save money and resource, to set up a new network would potentially reinvent an existing resource and does not make any sense, especially in light of financial restrictions.

18. What other groups, organisations or people need to be involved in delivery of this strategy?

What other groups, organisations or people need to be involved in delivery of this strategy?
Trade bodies and employer representatives. Student bodies

19. Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.

Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.
FDF Scotland manage a programme called A Future in Food that promotes careers in the food and drink industry. In particular; • Support teachers and educators understanding of all aspects of the food and drink manufacturing industry and to empower them to pass this knowledge on to students • Enable students, parents and educators to identify connections between food production and the wider supply chain, understand the relevance of curriculum subjects and their links to the range of career opportunities available and skills required by industry • Support the development and delivery of relevant qualifications and pathways into the industry and articulation through education to provide a skilled workforce with qualifications required by industry • Increase the number of skilled employees in the food supply chain to fulfil the demand for new recruits to support predicted growth of the industry • Leave a legacy of resources, materials and partnerships to embed awareness of the industry and make it a Career Destination of Choice. Summary of Success to date: • 13,000 pupils participated directly in activities between school and industry • 26,000 pupils have been exposed to careers information through events like Skills Scotland, careers events, workshops, Big Bang. • 2047 teachers have participated in Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) activities to support awareness of careers in the industry and links to the curriculum, opportunity for this information to be passed on to pupils is in excess of tens of thousands. • In excess of 70,000 downloads of educational resources from our website. • Support for requests for Ambassador input to schools has reached in excess of 1000 pupils and 50 teachers. This includes providing Ambassador support to SBITC and Food for Thought. SFDF Schools Programme is recognised as occupying a key central role in the food and drink skills landscape; raising awareness of careers in this economically vital industry, the skills required support innovation and the progression routes and pathways available. SFDF contributes by working in partnership with: • SDS to deliver the Skills Investment Plan (SIP) for Food and Drink • Formal partnership agreement with College Development Network (CDN) recognises the value of joint activities developed and support provided. • Network of over 300 Food and Drink Skills Ambassadors significantly increases reach of programme. • Formal partnership with STEM Learning to develop and grow the Food and Drink Ambassadors Network and expansion of network of information. • Supported the establishment of regional skills group in Grampian to promote food and drink careers in this key region. • Working with Developing Young Workforce (DYW) in key food and drink regions across Scotland to prevent duplication of activity and provide practical support to food and drink groups, including Moray the trailblazing region for Food and Drink, SFDF are key members of the Food and Drink Group. • Partner in development and delivery of General teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) accredited course for teachers to learn about the food chain to pass on knowledge. • Involved in qualifications development to support progression routes and pathways into industry. • Network of key partners and stakeholders who support the programme and its activities, including; SQA, IFST, Further and Higher Education, Education Scotland, Food Education Partners, IBioIC • Supports delivery of Scottish Government Policy, including; Becoming a Good Food Nation, DYW, Better eating Better Learning (BEBL)

20. What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?

What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?
See model of FDF Scotland activity above. Encourage staff to become STEM Ambassadors, work with local schools directly or through trade bodies, offer site visits, support careers events in local schools. Make materials / resources available for teaching staff to help them understand what industry / employers require in terms of skills.