Posted: Friday, 10th February 2012
THE INSTITUTE of Education has been chosen to lead the way nationally in developing a new partnership of schools and Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) based industry.
The agreement is part of an additional £1 million package of funding from the Department of Education to the Science Learning Centre North West (SLCNW), based at the Didsbury Campus.
SLCNW was set up in 2003 to provide leading edge professional development to science teachers from primary to FE across the region.
The additional two years funding comes as recognition of the Man Met managed Centre’s excellent performance, which has seen superb feedback from more than 12,000 ‘clients’.
But it is the Centre’s plan to work with the Faculty of Science and Engineering which has earned it a new national role.
Centre director Amanda Smith explained: “We will lead the way nationally in developing working relationships between schools and STEM based industry, where the Centre becomes the educational outreach partner of the company.
“We are sharing these links with the Faculty of Science and Engineering who will be providing the HE dimension of this service.”
Looking ahead over the next two years, Amanda says the Centre will pick up a lot of the responsibilities for CPD lost from local education authorities.
Flexibility for schools
She added: “The Centre has set up 15 supported teacher networks that span the region, in addition to a bookable programme of CPD and whole series of needs-matched bespoke contracts to provide expert support for individual schools, colleges and clusters.”
Professor of STEM education Jan Green, said: “We are delighted to achieve two more years funding, which we have done by outstanding quality of provision and reaching those schools who achieve less than 40% two A*to C grades in science GCSE.
“The Centre puts the IoE at the forefront of supporting science learning in the UK.”
In celebration of the contract, the SLCNW came together with its sister project the HE STEM Programme NW to provide a conference for over 70 participants that brought together leading scientists from the Faculty of Science and Engineering with teachers.
Professor Green added: “It is vital that we provide science teachers with the opportunity to keep abreast with the research that is making the science of today.
“The conference was a great success, the teachers were buzzing and already they are introducing the new material into their classrooms.”
Conference workshops were led by Professor Val Edwards-Jones, Professor Joanna Verran and Dr Stephen Hoon and MMU students including Katherine Suddards, Sarah Threlfall and Sarah Jackson.
Image Supplied: Professor Joanna Verran, ‘Plaque Attack’ workshop