Learned Societies’ Group response to Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee’s inquiry into recruiting and training new teachers

The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish STEM Education (LSG) responded to the Scottish Government’s Education and Skills Committee’s inquiry into recruiting and training new teachers. The LSG previously commented on the importance of teacher recruitment and training in building STEM capacity across the education sector in its response to the Education and Skills Committee’s inquiry into Teacher Workforce Planning in 2017.

The available evidence suggests that specialist teachers in several of the STEM subjects are becoming increasingly scarce and that student teacher intake figures for the STEM subjects regularly fall short of the annual targets. Similar concerns exist regarding the extent to which new teachers enter the classroom prepared to teach the STEM subjects, with primary school teachers in particular reporting low confidence in their ability to teach engineering, science, and technology. The response explores concerns around current recruitment practices and initiatives, such as the need to regularly review the effectiveness of the 18 alternative routes into teaching that were recently introduced in Scotland and the equal importance of retention alongside recruitment, as well as teacher education and professional learning, flagging up the need for more subject-specific career-long professional learning in particular.