Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education

Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education

Recent Activity

The draft National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education

In November 2015, the Learned Societies' Group responded to the Scottish Government's draft National Improvement Framework for Scottish education. Our response is available here.

Consultation on the Outcomes of the Scottish Qualifications Authority

In August 2015, the Learned Societies' Group responded to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee consultation on the work and outcomes of the SQA. Our response is available here.

Reforms in Scottish Schools' Science Education

In spring 2014, the Learned Societies' Group undertook an enquiry into how schools and science teachers had responded to the Curriculum for Excellence and qualification and assessment reforms, in relation to the sciences. The report of this survey work was published in January 2015 and is available here:

Summary Report

Full Report

Resourcing of School Science in Scotland

On 12 November 2014, the Learned Societies' Group published the results of survey work it has undertaken on the resourcing of science in Scottish schools. The findings are available from here:

Learned Societies Group Summary Report

Full Pye Tait Survey Analysis

Information about the Learned Societies' Group and its activities is provided below, along with links to its responses and papers.


The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish Science Education was set up in 2012.

The establishment of the Group has purposes arising from concerns about, and a need to contribute to, the major reforms in the delivery of science education in Scottish schools. It was recognised that while the member organisations are individually active in this area, it is likely that more can be achieved by a formal collaborative grouping that identifies, discusses and takes action on common issues.


The Group has the following three-fold remit:

  • To be proactive in identifying and promoting priorities for school science education in Scotland and to liaise, where appropriate, with other relevant organisations and groups.
  • To consider and monitor school science education initiatives or developments, particularly those from Government and its agencies, and respond to these where appropriate.
  • To organise, where appropriate, meetings or other events that stimulate debate on school science education in Scotland.

Implicit in the Group’s remit is the intention to foster relationships, share events and provide advice to policy makers and other relevant bodies in co-operation with a broader range of science-related learned societies and professional associations. 


Collaborative interdisciplinary learning is a major strand of Curriculum for Excellence. This has been important in terms of influencing the scope of the group and its membership. The Group currently comprises representatives from the:

-          Royal Society of Chemistry

-          Institute of Physics

-          Royal Society of Biology

-          Association for Science Education

-          British Computer Society

-          Edinburgh Mathematical Society

-          Scottish Mathematical Council

-          Royal Society of Edinburgh

-          Engineering Policy Group Scotland

The Group has established a connection with STEMEC, an independent group which has been formed to take forward work arising from the Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group (SEEAG) report. More details about this are available from here

Interdisciplinary Learning

In collaboration with the STEMEC, the Learned Societies' Group has prioritised activity to embed interdisciplinary learning (IDL) more deeply within Scottish education. This includes bringing together senior representatives of organisations from across Scottish education to establish a national programme to support the development of IDL. As part of this process, the group has agreed a National Statement on IDL.

An extended paper on IDL, The Why's, What's and How's of Interdisciplinary Learning, encompasses views from education, training and employment. It also considers how the delivery of IDL in schools can be further supported. The paper is available from here. 

Earlier Activity & Responses

The report of the launch of the Group on 28 May 2012 is available here.

In May 2013, the Group responded to the GTCS consultation on entry requirements to programmes of initial teacher education for primary teaching in Scotland. The response is available here.

In January 2014, the Group responded to Education Scotland's Curriculum Impact Update Report of 2013 on learning in the Sciences 3-18. The response is available here. 

In April 2014, the Group responded to the GTCS consultation in relation to how Professional Update will be reflected in the Revised Registratation and Standards Rules Framework. The Group emphasised the need for serving primary school teachers to be supported in extending their knowledge of science and mathematics. The response is available here.


For further information about the work of the Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education, contact William Hardie.


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