Publication - Corporate report

STEM strategy for education and training: first annual report

Published: 7 Feb 2019

Overview of progress in the first year of the five year STEM Strategy for Education and Training in Scotland.

Contents
STEM strategy for education and training: first annual report
Annex B

Annex B

Key Performance Indicators – Summary

Note

In December 2017, we published a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the STEM Strategy. These KPIs were selected on the basis that they related most closely to the key changes that we want to see resulting from delivery of the actions set out in the Strategy and, where possible, to primarily reflect progress as a result of the actions that will be taken and not significantly influenced by other external factors such as demographic and general labour market changes. Where well established data sets existed, we set stretch aims for the targets. For others, either further data collection was needed or they did not lend themselves to stretch aims. This annex provides an update on the status of each of the KPIs. In describing the status of each KPI we have given a picture of previous trends to set changes in the statistics in context.

In each case, we have used the most up-to-date published information to determine the baseline and the status of the KPI. They use different data collections, and so the actual years being reported on vary because of timing differences between collection and publication of data and publication of this report. These time lags also mean that the information will refer back to a time before the Strategy was in place, and so changes that are evident in the statistics presented here may not be fully attributable to the Strategy.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate individual actions and KPIs as new data becomes available to assess performance and determine if any changes in approach are required.

I. Increases in the proportion of people undertaking STEM-related learning, engagement, study and training across all sectors including in school-level qualifications and awards, and participation in apprenticeship programmes. (Excellence and Inspiration)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Meet Initial Teacher Education student intake targets for all STEM subjects. In order to address teacher shortages in certain STEM subjects targets are set for the number of students to be taken onto initial teacher education courses in these subjects. These targets reflect the demand for teachers in each subject and have been increasing each year. While these targets have not been met overall, intakes for the STEM secondary teacher training courses have increased from 380 in 2015-16 to 530 in 2017-18, and setting stretching targets is helping to drive progress.
b. Increase the number of passes at SCQF level 5 in Mathematics by 10% by 2022. We have taken the 2017 SQA results as the baseline. The number of post-review passes in that year were 28,166, with 28,336 passes in 2018. Numbers for previous years were 28,849 (2014), 24,676 (2015) and 27,515 (2016). Therefore, the figures for both 2017 (the baseline) and 2018 (the current year) are similar to each other and slightly less than 2014 but these increases should be seen in the context of a falling cohort size with the S4-S6 cohort falling each year from 135,548 in 2014 to 125,476 in 2018.
c. Increase overall provision of Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities to 5,000 new starts by 2019 and expand provision and Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities across all Scottish secondary schools. Cohort 1 of the Foundation Apprenticeships (2016‑2018 delivery) is the first year of delivery after the initial pilot phase and is the baseline year. The overall number of starts in 2016 was 346 of which STEM starts were 161. In 2017, the total number of FA starts was 1,245 of which 552 were STEM starts. The 2018 Foundation Apprenticeship report showed that approximately 71% of secondary schools were involved in Foundation Apprenticeship Delivery across Cohort 1 and 2. The next report will be published later in February 2019.
d. Increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities in STEM-related subjects at SCQF Level 9 and above. The Graduate Apprenticeship programme is still relatively new. The first cohort began in September 2017 and the second cohort in September 2018. Data on these cohorts will be published in March 2019 and will be included in the next Strategy annual report.
e. Increase the proportion of those who successfully completed a recognised qualification at college in a STEM subject. For college courses at HE level, the proportion of successfully completed courses that were in STEM subjects was 27.9% in 2014-15, 28.4% in 2015-16, 29.1% in 2016-17 and 28.3% in 2017-18. For college courses at FE level, the proportion of successfully completed courses that were in STEM subjects was 25.2% in 2014-15, 25.3% in 2015-16, 23% in 2016-17 and 23.5% in 2017-18.
f. Increase the proportion of Scottish Domiciled qualifiers on Full-time First Degree STEM courses. 2015-16 is the baseline year. The proportions of Scottish domiciled qualifiers on full-time first degree courses is similar across the three years of 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017‑18 but has shown slight increase overall. This reflects a trend prior to 2015-16. The proportions in 2015‑16 were. 34.6% (excluding medical courses) and 51.2% (including medical courses). In 2017-18 the proportions were 35.2% (excluding medical) and 52.5% (including medical).
g. Increase in the number of participants in STEM-related Youth and Adult Achievement awards. No baseline data or trends exist. Baseline data will be available by March 2019.

II. Increased practitioner confidence in STEM learning in the early years, primary years and in CLD settings and increased practitioner engagement in STEM professional learning opportunities. (Excellence)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Increase the cumulative hours of STEM professional learning accessed by early years, schools, college and CLD practitioners annually. Education Scotland introduced new data gathering measures in 2017-18 to track provision of professional learning in STEM. Responses from 44 organisations showed that they collectively provided 109,969 cumulative hours of STEM professional learning between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. At the same time, early learning and childcare and school practitioners were surveyed. Responses from 876 practitioners showed they accessed an average of 21.3 hours of STEM professional learning between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. Of the respondents, 63.4% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I am confident in delivering STEM learning in my practice.’ Education Scotland will take steps to improve and align data gathering in 2019-20 to ensure it provides a robust and comprehensive account of the provision and to help track progress.
III. Significant reductions in the equity gaps in participation and achievement in STEM learning, engagement, study, courses and training across all sectors in relation to gender, deprivation, rurality, race, disability and for care leavers. (Equity)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Reduce the gap between the percentage of school leavers with one or more award in STEM subjects at SCQF level 6 or better from the least and most deprived SIMD quintiles to 31 percentage points by 2020 and to 25 percentage points by 2022. 2015-16 is the baseline year when the gap was 36.8 percentage points. Data from previous years show that the current value (35.6 percentage points) is a reduction on the gap in all previous years. Between 2015-16 and 2016‑17 there was a slight increase in the proportion of school leavers with one or more STEM award at SCQF level 6 in the most deprived quintiles and a slight decrease in the proportion of school leavers with one or more STEM award at SCQF level 6 in the least deprived quintiles.
b. Improve the gender balance in attainment in key STEM related subjects at SCQF level 6 by increasing the number of females passing physics by 15% and computing by 20%, by 2022. 2017 SQA data is the baseline year. Prior to that, female passes in Physics had declined from 2,262 in 2014 to 1,899 in 2017 – with some variations across the years. For physics, they declined again slightly in 2018 to 1,863 passes. For computing, female passes declined from 670 in 2014 to 480 in 2017 – again, with variations from year to year – and then increased by 72 passes to 552 female passes in 2018.
c. Improve the gender balance in STEM subjects studied at college and university. The percentage of female enrolments across the STEM subjects at universities has been, in general, increasing marginally from 2014-15 to 2017-18. In 2017-18, it ranged from 66% for the biological sciences to 19% for Engineering and Technology and 21% for Computer Science. There were very slight increases in the proportion of female enrollments in engineering/technology and computing between 2014-15 and 2017‑18 but a slight decrease for mathematics. In the college sector, while there remains a lot to be done, progress has been encouraging. The percentage of female enrolments across STEM courses at HE level in colleges has been gradually increasing from 13.9% in 2014-15 to 17.8% in 2017-18. In 2017-18, they ranged from 57.0% for the sciences to 2.8% for Nautical Studies and 8.0% in Engineering. At FE level, while there was a dip in 2015-16 (28.8%), over the four year period there has been an increase in the proportion of females taking STEM courses from 30.8% in 2014-15 to 32.3% in 2017‑18. While figures are variable across the types of course, there are promising increases for Engineering with female enrolments increasing from 14.8% in 2014‑15 to 25.5% in 2017-18.
d. Increase gender balance in the uptake of STEM-related Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities in the senior phase of school. Females represented 8.1% of starts in STEM Frameworks for cohort 1 (2016) and 13.2% of starts in STEM frameworks in cohort 2 (2017).
e. Increase the proportion of schools from most deprived quintile that receive a quality STEM engagement experience from funded Science Centres. Baseline taken as 34.1% in 2016-17, the year prior to the launch of the STEM Strategy and the first to use data from SIMD16.

The proportion in 2017-18 was 44.9% of eligible schools, which represents a large increase on previous figures. This has been driven by changes to policy and funding for the Science Centres. However, it must be noted that figures may also be affected by the re‑configuration of the SIMD data zones in 2016 from the previous data in 2012 and a slight decrease in the total number of eligible schools.
f. Increase the number of members of community groups from the most deprived or rural areas participating in quality engagement with Science Centres and festivals to 10,000 by 2022. The baseline has been taken as 8,235 visits by members of eligible community groups in 2016-17, the year prior to the launch of the Strategy and the first year of increased subsidy. The trend since 2012-13, when the subsidy was initiated separately, has been for increasing numbers of participants as the centres have developed relations with community groups in their areas. The subsidy was increased in 2016-17 with an increase of over 1,000 participants from the previous year. In 2017‑18 the number of visits increased again to 8,604. This represents the highest participation since the subsidy was started.
IV. Increased numbers of people who understand the benefits and value of STEM for themselves, their families and their communities. (Inspiration)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Increase the proportion of young people who say they feel studying STEM is important for them and/or for their future careers in the Young People in Scotland Survey. Baseline data gathered in 2017 survey and will be available every two years. Almost two thirds (65%) of respondents said they had chosen or thought they would choose to study a STEM subject. Of these, 52% said they had chosen a STEM subject because they felt it was important to them and/or for their future career. 56% said that it was because they enjoyed STEM.
V. Increased collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. (Connection)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Increase the number of employers engaged with education to support young people of all ages to understand STEM career opportunities and develop skills for work (including career advice, work inspiration, work experience placements, etc.) We currently have no robust mechanisms for measuring the numbers of employers engaged with STEM. However, a recent data gathering exercise undertaken in collaboration with local authorities and employer groups indicates that 79% of secondary schools are now benefitting from meaningful and productive partnerships with employers. Scotland’s 21 Developing Young Workforce Regional Groups are engaged in building both strategic partnerships between schools and employers and a whole range of other complimentary activity. Whilst the Groups do not currently separately identify STEM‑based activity, their activity is driven by the needs of local employers which includes a high proportion of STEM‑type activity reflecting current and future needs.

We are actively exploring with partners, including the DYW Regional Groups, how best to collect and report on this KPI.
VI. Increased employment in STEM-related occupations and employers are more satisfied with the STEM skills and capability of the people they employ from schools, colleges, universities and from apprenticeship programmes. (Connection)

KPI

Baseline value and progress (where applicable)

a. Increase the numbers of placements and internships with employers for college learners within STEM curricular areas. An audit of current practice in industry placements has been conducted in colleges and universities with the aim of establishing a baseline from which to measure future actions. The output from the audit will be available in Spring 2019.
b. Reduce the proportion of STEM employers in Scotland experiencing skills shortages. The proportion of STEM employers in Scotland with at least one skills shortage vacancy was 6.4% in 2015 and 7.7% in 2017.

Contact

Email: Frank Creamer