Response 443618168

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Questions

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

3. Are these success criteria right?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
If not, tell us what criteria we should use instead.
The first outcome should include ' an equitable STEM experience' for every student. The STEM experience of our young people varies greatly depending upon the schools they attend.To ensure that teachers can inspire and enthuse students in STEM subjects a commitment needs to be made to provide the funding , accommodation and the correct facilities to teach these subjects accurately and in a way which will develop and sustain interest. STEM subjects are exciting but only if they can be taught properly using the correct equipment /resources and within a classroom/lab which is fit for this purpose. These are essential requirements for high quality teaching by STEM teachers and this provision should not be down to either a postcode lottery or simply waiting in line for 30 years for upgrading (as I have been).If the commitment is genuine and not just 'more empty words' improvement should begin by assessing current teaching facilities in these subjects Scotland wide. A concerted effort should then be made to channel any STEM improvement/engagement funding into improving teaching facilities(classrooms/labs/equipment),to ensure every student in Scotland is able to gain the same STEM experience, only then will our teachers really be able to inspire. Currently too many teachers are struggling to inspire in schools which are falling down around them managing on budgets which do not allow them to purchase essential equipment.Students are not inspired in classrooms where it is too cold to remove jackets and ceiling tiles descend from above, where they sit at cramped wooden benches(in science!) installed 60 years ago.There needs to be a minimum standard for the basic fabric of our schools before we begin to address how we can tackle the STEM engagement problem.'Making do' very rarely leads to inspiration no matter how talented the teacher in subjects which have to be up to date and relevant requiring to make use of 'equipment which most state schools/departments cannot afford.

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?
Why place the emphasis on learning in the early years? Enthusiastic inspired primary students will not remain enthusiastic and inspired if their secondary teachers are unable to continue to inspire due to a lack of facilities and funding. In addition very few primary teachers have the specialist STEM subject knowledge secondary teachers have making it much more difficult for them to inspire, they just don't have the background knowledge or confidence to teach these subjects to a level which will inspire.

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.
For the reasons stated previously I feel equity and excellence cannot be achieved by focussing upon early years/primary age students only.

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

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?
This should include channelling funding to gain equity of educational experience in STEM subjects in every local authority school. In addition provision for specific funding to improve the secondary school experience in the ways detailed previously, in STEM subjects, resulting in increased STEM subject uptake by pupils caused by increased interest fuelled by more inspirational learning and teaching.

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?
As detailed previously

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 actions detailed are clear but do not encompass all areas ie secondary school provision. Until this happens we will not see an increase in STEM subject engagement or attainment nor the subsequent achievement(exam passes) and related uptake of STEM related careers.

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.

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
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.
For reasons detailed earlier

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?
I can only speak for schools and reiterate that schools/teachers can only achieve increased engagement, achievement and attainment ,leading to greater career uptake if they have the proper working conditions and resources to do so.

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
The GTC and teaching unions should and could support the teachers need to equitable working conditions for teachers and learning experiences for our young people.

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?
They are doing all they can but are hampered by teacher shortages (lack of supply cover),which means teachers cannot involve their students in activities as they are aware of the pressures this creates in school due to a lack of supply staff.

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?
Do primary teachers have adequate skills/knowledge to enthuse and inspire in STEM subjects?....this is not the case in my experience, they cannot be experts in every subject area. To truly inspire you must be able to answer the questions of enquiring minds in these subject areas, this is unlikely to be the case.

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?
Good if they can provide the funding need to improve the current situation within many schools re. STEM resourcing/facilities.

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?
Good but wont help to address the real problem

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.
As much as we can given the restrictions of funding and a school which is in desperate need of basic structural repair.

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?
Invest in schools