IOP welcomes announcement of STEM education strategy for Scotland

27 October 2017

The IOP welcomes the announcement yesterday by Scottish Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science, Shirley Anne Somerville MSP, of the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland that “focuses on excellence, equity, connection and inspiration.”

IOP welcomes announcement of STEM education strategy for Scotland

Referring to the IOP Improving Gender Balance Scotland (IGBS) project in her Parliamentary Statement, the Minister highlighted that, as part of the STEM Strategy, they plan to embed IGBS practice across all schools.

Ms Somerville said: “It is vital that we give everyone the opportunity to fulfil their STEM potential and to contribute to Scotland's economic prosperity. We will take action to improve the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM learning and to tackle unconscious bias and gender stereotyping that creates barriers to participation, access and attainment.

“That must start from the earliest years and should be sustained right through the education system at all levels. It will include action to tackle gender segregation and promote equality of opportunity in the early years, in apprenticeships and on college and university courses.

“We will work closely with equalities experts in the third sector to create a dedicated team to embed practice from the successful Institute of Physics Gender Balance project across all schools by 2022.”

The IGBS project, which was shortlisted for a Herald & GenAnalytics National Diversity Award this year, is a three-year project aimed at identifying and tackling the challenges facing students as a result of gender stereotyping in STEM subjects. The project is a partnership between the Institute of Physics, Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland.

Alison McLure, IOP National Officer for Scotland, said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to embed practice from the Improving Gender Balance Scotland project in all schools and look forward to working with them and other partners to take this forward.”