Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teaching (Dumfries and Galloway)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th September 2019.

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Photo of Emma Harper Emma Harper Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting the teaching of STEM subjects in Dumfries and Galloway. (S5O-03534)

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government’s STEM education and training strategy sets out a range of actions to support practitioners teaching STEM subjects in Scotland’s primary and secondary schools, in early learning and community learning and development settings, and in our colleges and universities.

In Dumfries and Galloway specifically, support for professional learning is provided by a designated Education Scotland STEM education officer who has now been appointed. Practitioners will also benefit from resources with a focus on cluster working to support professional learning in STEM, including numeracy, mathematics and science, through work supported by the enhancing professional learning in STEM grants.

All that will build on the great work started as part of the raising aspirations in science education—RAISE—programme. That is being further enhanced through the creation of a digital and physical hub and spoke network to facilitate digital learning in rural locations.

Photo of Emma Harper Emma Harper Scottish National Party

Dumfries and Galloway College is working towards plans to build STEM extensions at the Stranraer and Dumfries campuses to allow for research and courses on maintenance and construction of renewable technologies. Will the minister join me in welcoming that work, which is supported by the south of Scotland economic partnership, and will he perhaps commit to visiting Dumfries and Galloway College to meet the students and staff in the near future?

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

I warmly welcome the development to which Emma Harper referred, which, as she said, is being supported by the Scottish Government as part of our £6.6 million investment in the south of Scotland economic partnership skills and learning network. Through the creation of that hub, the project seeks to address the immediate skills gaps that have been identified in the region in key sectors. I would be delighted to visit Dumfries and Galloway with Emma Harper to view for myself the good work that is taking place there to support STEM.