We believe all young people, across the UK should receive a world-leading STEM education.
We believe that:
- every young person has the right to a broad and balanced education that includes, but is not limited to, STEM subjects
- STEM subjects are valuable not only because they can lead to exciting, rewarding career options, but also because they enable individuals to be active citizens in an increasingly technological society
- STEM subjects open doors, provide options and are vital to the modern age - however, they are part of a young person’s development, not all of it
Our vision for STEM teaching:
- all young people should be taught STEM subjects by teachers who regularly update their subject-specific knowledge and skills through appropriate professional development, and are given the time, resources and support to do so
- schools should be incentivised to open up STEM study post-16 to all students, regardless of entry route
- careers advice and guidance should include subject teachers spending time with STEM employers, as well as students having a variety of opportunities to engage with employers through visits, talks, webinars and other means
- school and college leaders and governors should recognise the unique demands on STEM teachers in terms of updating subject knowledge and skills, and support them in this throughout their careers. Government, policymakers and others should support this through appropriate incentives and resources.
Since 2004, we have provided teachers, technicians and other educators with high impact, subject-specific professional development and support in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
This support is provided through:
- the National STEM Learning Centre, York - providing intensive, residential professional development alongside a library of STEM teaching resources, both on- and off-line
- the network of 50 Science Learning Partnerships in England - providing locally available DfE supported science focussed professional development
- our partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - providing locally available professional development through SSERC, Techniquest and Education Authority Northern Ireland
During this time we have learnt five key lessons:
- Sustained engagement of schools with Network support is associated with improved teaching and learning, as well as increased uptake and achievement in science.
- Network professional development improves teachers’ subject and pedagogical knowledge, skills and confidence, resulting in better outcomes for young people.
- The National Science Learning Network develops strong leadership in science, from primary to post-16, benefitting teachers, schools and young people.
- Engagement with the Network helps schools and colleges recruit and retain excellent teachers.
- National Science Learning Network professional development enriches teaching, supporting young people’s engagement, progression and awareness of STEM careers.