YPI Scotland

A new report, produced by The Wood Foundation, has detailed the legacy of its investment in primary STEM education across Scotland.

Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE), which is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Scottish Government, Education Scotland, and participating local authorities, aims to empower primary practitioners with the confidence, skills, and networks to develop and deliver motivating and engaging STEM learning experiences.

Local authorities receive funding for a period of two years to appoint a Primary Science Development Officer to lead upon STEM learning development and training in primary schools.

The legacy report shares the experiences of authorities which are more than a year beyond funding. It finds that the STEM foundations laid by the RAiSE investment have been vital for ongoing impact. All authorities remain engaged with the network.

The key factor in sustainable success from the investment is when authorities retain a post focussed on primary STEM. The report focusses on local authorities’ strategic approaches to STEM; the growth of practitioner confidence; improved and enriched pupil experiences; and the sustainability of networks and partnerships achieved by this scaffolding for systemic impact which is increasing STEM capital across Scottish learning and teaching.

Gayle Duffus is the National Education Officer who leads the RAiSE programme. She said:

“RAiSE is not designed to be one-off, time-limited intervention. It is about sowing the seeds to grow STEM capital within a local context. Professional learning, collaborative networks, impactful partnerships, and quality-assured resources ensure the sustainability and legacy of RAiSE.

“This report details some of the amazing work driven forward by local authorities as a legacy to their RAiSE funding. Personally, I am incredibly proud of all that has been achieved by driven, motivated, and empowered education professionals and what this means for the direct learning experiences of young people.”

The report examines ongoing opportunities for growth and connections to continue to build upon the investment, as well as the learnings that continue to inform the programme’s evolution.

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director at Education Scotland, said:

“I am delighted to see that local authorities are building on the experiences gained during the RAiSE programme, by ensuring that primary school practitioners continue to grow their confidence in providing learners with motivating activities which further develop their STEM skills. Through Education Scotland’s close involvement in the RAiSE programme, we will continue to work with practitioners’ networks and offer a range of carefully-informed professional learning to support further improvements.”

Ali MacLachlan, UK Director at The Wood Foundation, said:

“This legacy report is important to recognise the sustainable impact and practitioner empowerment which is critical to the legacy of the RAiSE investment. Sharing the ongoing, systemic potential of this approach proves its value beyond our two-year funding model.

“We have now engaged half of Scotland’s local authorities and this report will inform planning and programme development as we continue the national rollout of this offer.”

The full report is available here.

For more information on RAiSE visit here or email Gayle Duffus.