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Overview: Education and skills

Science, mathematics and computing are at the heart of modern life. They are essential to understanding the world and provide the foundations for economic prosperity.

Being educated in science, mathematics and computing enables people to make informed choices about their life and work, empowers them to shape scientific and technological developments, and equips them to prosper in today’s rapidly-changing, knowledge-focused economies.

Vision for science and mathematics education

Our Vision for science and mathematics education identifies ways to improve the outcomes of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Education systems need to provide stability for the curriculum and its assessment in order to support excellent teaching and to enable innovation. To achieve this new, independent, expert bodies that draw on the wider science, technology, engineering and mathematics professional community need to be created and supported.

Baccalaureate-style frameworks should be introduced to give young people a broad and balanced education through to age 18. Inspirational science and mathematics curricula should be placed at the heart of these frameworks, and should emphasise practical work and problem-solving.

Raising the status of teaching

There are many inspiring teachers but many more are needed. For this to happen, a sustained effort is required to recognise their professionalism and to raise their status. To keep up-to-date and maintain a passion for their subject, teachers need time and resources to undertake subject-specific professional development, with this being linked to career progression.

The Society engages with a network of teachers in order to help promote excellence in science and mathematics teaching via programmes such as the Partnership Grants scheme, Summer Science Exhibition schools programme and Young People’s Book Prize, as well as communicating its events, funding opportunities and resources more widely via a monthly UK teachers newsletter.

Inspiring young people

The Society’s Partnership Grants provide funding for schools to run exciting and innovative investigative projects, in partnership with a professional scientist, mathematician or engineer.

Each year, our Summer Science Exhibition showcases the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology in the UK. We invite school groups to the exhibition so that pupils can question the researchers in person and try out the frontline science on display.

Valuing science and mathematics education

Students of all ages and their teachers and supervisors should understand the significance of science and mathematics education through better careers awareness and guidance. The Society explored doctoral students' careers expectations, and how they can be best managed so that students and their supervisors understand the wide range of careers that a PhD can lead to in and outside of science.

Basing policy and practice on evidence

Education policy and practice should be informed by evidence. The Society aims to enhance collaboration and communication between science and mathematics education researchers, scientists and mathematicians, teaching professionals, policymakers and the public. To provide advice on science and mathematics education policy, the Society works collaboratively with learned societies, the wider science and engineering community and national academies, and hosts the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education.

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