Response 561389259

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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
Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?
Seems fairly obvious, a well known grouping and sensible.

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
Yes
Ticked No
Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?
The 4 priorities mentioned are all good and valid. Key missing one is the mess that "Curriculum for Excellence" has made in Mathematics and Science at Primary level (11% and &% drops in the SSLN results) and the disaster of the numbers achieving SCQF 5 awards specifically in Mathematics and I believe also in Science. EG, in 2015 an ~5000 drop in the number of SCQF level 5 passes in Maths. The only thing that changed that year across the country, the introduction of National5 Maths to all S4/5/6 pupils.......

3. Are these success criteria right?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
If not, tell us what criteria we should use instead.
The two existing Success Criteria/Targets seem to be ok, very laudable, but not going to happen unless we do something more radical than what is in this paper. In addition, perhaps another Success Criteria should be - to ensure that there are enough Maths teachers for schools to have access to. There are not just now. - review the comparative achievement of Maths (&Science) results vs English [e.g. at N5, ca40000 English passes vs ca25000+ in Maths, at higher ca28000 in English vs below15000 in Maths ----HALF! Is that a reflection of Scotlands abilities or a skewed examination system?

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?
No. Need to look at recruitment of Maths teachers, we need more and higher quality. Need to look at the equity of achievement at SCQF level 4 & 5. We are currently sending the message that pupils will not achieve in Maths & Science because they are not!! The drop at N5 in Maths can only be attributed to new CfE exams, nothing else changed that significantly in those years across the country.....

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.
The actions seem to contribute well where I see them, but we are avoiding the "elephant in the room" - see above.

6. Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.

Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.
Not sure that anything currently being done should be stopped.

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?
They just seem to be theoretical. - continue to get data - be more efficient - set performance targets. The targets under "Excellence" seem good, improve recruitment, etc, but need to see some impact. In general, great, but don't see how much of an effect it will have.

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?
Actually do something. Look at schools. Review & change the disaster that has led to the 11%/7% drop in SSLN results. I accept that "making Maths count" may do this, but on evidence of things that have happened recently I will not hold my breath! Look at N5 an Higher disparities noted above Do something about attracting more maths teachers - pay?? Look at how much teachers pay has dropped relatively since the McCrone settlement and wonder why recruitment has dried up.....Nice idea on the pipeline, but....

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?
No.

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.
Equity is a vital and important target. Very 'current'. However, I think that there are more pressing problems that should be tackled alongside this.

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?
Yes, certainly. But right now there is a significant depression among teachers in Science and Maths. They are sick and tired of being told to "improve learning and teaching" because Maths results are going down relative to other subjects, mainly ones with significant internally assessed elements! When you look at and analyse the relative pass rates and changes over the last few years, there is something very very wrong. All we have done for the last 7 or more years is re-write incomprehensible curriculum with vague and misleading objectives. Assessment, specifically internal is beyond a joke. Reinvigorate Maths and Science teachers, give more time to develop this and it could really go somewhere....

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
I am not convinced the teaching unions should be involved in this, other than to represent their members interests in workload. It is not their job to lead curricular change and perhaps there needs to be some delineations/space here? Not sure what the GTCS could do, it is not their specific area of expertise. Leave it to STEM teachers, lectures, experts and industry.

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?
More activities for schools, get them more funding and into schools, especially primaries. 'Explosions', 'Maths puzzle events', hands on stuff and the 'more dangerous viewable only' experiments (e.g. see liquid nitrogen, see sodium in water, etc..... not on videos.)

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.
Yes, but no ideas just now, a long survey.

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?
Ensure? Need to encourage. Remove the bureaucracy from schools just now and the removal of UASPs at N5/Higher is a good start. More time will have a very positive impact - perhaps employ teachers for local areas to specifically do this. Visit schools, teach lessons, do activiites.....

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?
As above for 15

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, they are needed. Suggestion in qu15 [.....perhaps employ teachers for local areas to specifically do this. Visit schools, teach lessons, do activiites.....]

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?
No idea.

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.
Teaching subjects, trying to make them as relevant as possible. Encouraging and monitoring equity, takeup and results.

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?
No idea. Pay. Attractiveness of employment.