SSERC, formally constituted as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and a registered Scottish Charity set up for the benefit of Scottish Education. All 32 Scottish Local Authorities are members of the company. Although in existence since 1965, SSERC was formally incorporated and registered as a charity in 1991. SSERC’s services are complex, highly specific and unique in Scottish education.

Our headquarters are currently in Dunfermline, although our reach is across all parts of Scotland.

SSERC Board of Directors and Trustees

Our Board of Directors comprises elected members from Scottish councils, senior education officers and representatives from The Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, School Leaders Scotland, The Association of Head Teachers and Deputes in Scotland, and the Scottish Parliament. The Board meets on a quarterly basis.

Click here to view details of the whole SSERC Board.

Click here to view the register of interests for the SSERC Board.

Senior Management Team

The SSERC Senior Management Team has the responsibility for the day today running of the organisation and putting in place the actions required to achieve the vision set for the organisation.   They hold specific executive powers delegated to them with and by authority of the SSERC Board of Directors.

Click here to view the register of interests for the senior management team.

Alastair MacGregor

Alastair MacGregor
Chief Executive

Ian Woodley

Ian Woodley
Director of Finance

Gregor Steele

Gregor Steele
Director of Advisory Service

Euan Mitchell

Euan Mitchell
Head of Early Years and Primary Education

Kate Andrews Head of Professional Learning

Graeme Rough
Head of STEM Programmes

Organisational Structure Chart

SSERC Governance and Advisory Structures

Click here to view information about SSERC governance and advisory structures.

SSERC offers a broad portfolio of services, principally in support of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas of the curriculum, which are not available from any other source and which can be broken down into three main stands of activity:-

  • Provision of  Professional Learning (PL) for early years practitioners, primary and secondary teachers and school and college technicians and childminders
  • The Advisory Service
  • Wider STEM engagement activities including the Young STEM Leader Programme, management of the STEM Ambassadors in Scotland Hub, ENTHUSE Partnerships, the Scottish STEM Placements Programme and Education/Industry Partnerships.

Advisory Service

It is important that risks are managed responsibly and sensibly. We believe that health and safety legislation should not be a barrier to the provision of valuable learning experiences for young people and we offer a range of training courses and guidance materials which discourage bureaucratic and over complex methods of risk management. Our range of services include:

  • Specialist Health & Safety advice for schools and Local Authorities.
  • Unlimited access to specialist advisors in Primary Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technology, Technician Services and Health and Safety.
  • Guidance and compliance advice for Radiological Health & Safety legislation through our Radiation Protection Adviser.
  • Free Management of Health & Safety courses for Curriculum Leaders. Other specialist Health & Safety courses, including Radiological Protection, which are heavily subsidised or free.
  • Access to the SSERC website – curriculum support materials, Health & Safety advice and resources e.g. exemplar Risk Assessments for both specific subject and whole school activities.
  • Professional development programmes for managers, teachers and technicians.
  • Recommendations on equipment and design of specialist accommodation.
  • Free consultancy and technical information.
  • Apparatus testing for safety, performance and conformance with standards.

Professional Learning

SSERC works with a range of partners, including the Scottish Government, National STEM Learning Centre (NSLC), The Primary Science Teaching Trust and others to deliver a programme of experiential PL for  childminders, early years practitioners, primary and secondary teachers, student teachers and technicians focussing on STEM.

Our professional development courses range from twilight events, day-courses through to residential meetings lasting up to 5 days in total (these latter courses are generally delivered over 2 parts). A  significant number of our courses are delivered through e-learning systems and use SSERC_meet technology. Our curriculum coverage spans both primary and secondary sectors and we offer events for teachers, trainee teachers and technicians. Our portfolio is varied and includes:

  • Courses for Probationers and newly qualified teachers
  • Subject specific courses for teachers in primary and secondary sectors
  • A range of transition courses to promote enhanced interaction between primary and secondary practitioners
  • The annual Scottish Universities Science School and Scottish Universities Technology School
  • Health and Safety courses for teachers and technicians
  • Design and manufacturing courses for technology teachers
  • Courses targeted at science and technology support staff (many of these courses are levelled and credit-rated by SQA within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
  • Leadership courses

Our PL is supported by our own YouTube channel – SSERC TV –  which is the main vehicle for our digital resources and our self-study courses utilise our SSERC Online Learning platform.

What people say about SSERC PL:

“The learning and teaching has improved along with teacher confidence, the response from pupils has been great”

“Really useful practical ideas which can be taken back and used with Primary 1”

“The activities are great for developing scientific thinking with children and have allowed me to become more confident about teaching science and supporting learners”.

Delegates at a number of our courses are eligible to receive grants to support their attendance. Teachers in Local Authority funded-schools in Scotland may qualify for an ENTHUSE Award from NSLC to cover registration and accommodation costs associated with the courses.

At its 124th meeting on the 13th December 2019, the SSERC Board of Directors and Trustees (the Board) approved an amended mission statement for the organisation. The previously agreed Vision statement remains unchanged. The Board confirmed the previously agreed the values that will underpin all work activities to achieve Vision 2030.

To inspire, enthuse and support STEM educators for the benefit of all learners.

Some definitions to support our mission statement:

By STEM we mean all the curriculum areas as defined by the Scottish Government’s definition of STEM (which includes numeracy and digital skills), including the skills and capabilities developed through STEM training and education.

STEM Educators

By educators we refer to the following:

  • Early learning and childcare practitioners including childminders
  • Primary school teachers including support staff
  • Secondary school teachers including support staff
  • School Technicians.
  • Further Education lecturers and technicians.
  • Those involved in wider STEM education e.g. through the Young STEM leader and STEM Ambassadors programmes.
  • Any other person who works will learners in wider, non-formal settings such as community learning and youth work.

Our offering is strengthened through our expertise in health and safety advice and practical hands experiential professional learning.

SSERC is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for STEM learning and support

Respect: We treat others as we expect to be treated…

We acknowledge and respect differences in each other, and provide a safe, supportive environment in which all individuals and staff are valued and encouraged to engage in open two-way communication. We understand our stakeholders’ needs and expectations and go out of our way to meet these.

Innovation: We provide unique solutions and ideas…

We embrace change, for ourselves and for our stakeholders and partners. We are continuously moving forward, innovating, and improving with a strong focus on sustainable processes and practices. We continually offer new inexpensive ideas that can be translated into the learning environment with ease.

Integrity: We do the right thing …

We demonstrate honesty, fairness, openness and clear boundaries in all our interactions, behaviours and practices within the organisation and with those with whom engage with externally. People trust us to adhere to our word. We will adopt to practices that support business sustainability1

Passion: What we do we do with enthusiasm…

We use our drive and commitment to energise, engage and inspire others. We show pride, enthusiasm and dedication in everything that we do. We are committed to delivering high quality products and services.

Excellence: What we do we do well…

We take pride in our work and strive to achieve the highest standards of quality and excellence by continuously learning, developing, and improving. We will demonstrate a commitment to teamwork and sharing knowledge, resources and skills.

[1] By business sustainability we mean the management and coordination of environmental, social and financial demands and concerns to ensure responsible, ethical and ongoing success.

We are grateful to the range of partner organisation who support the work of SSERC. This section of the website provides a brief overview of each partner organisation including details of the support that they provide us.

The Scottish Association for Metals

The Scottish Association for Metals is the direct successor of the West of Scotland Iron and Steel Institute.

The Association is the learned society and professional institution for metallurgists and materials technologists in Scotland. It organises a programme of technical meetings and visits to inform and update those working in manufacturing industries, education and training about current developments and practices in materials technology. It is also a recognised Scottish charity (charity number SC014102).

We are grateful to the Association for it’s ongoing support in assisting Technology teachers and technicians access SSERC professional learning opportunities.

To visit the Scottish Association for Metals website click here.

Edina Trust

The Edina Trust provides non-competitive, easy-to-access grants, for primary schools in certain areas of the UK, to be used to promote the teaching of science and gardening.

The Edina Trust is pleased to collaborate with SSERC because of its shared aim to enhance the teaching and learning of science. In Edina’s case the focus is on Primary science and it respects SSERC’s work in this area along with its selection for government funding for its Primary Cluster Programme in Science and Technology. Providing one off science grants to schools that have participated in this programme is an effective way for Edina to ensure that its funds are spent in a focussed manner.
Its Science Resources for Schools scheme links the Edina funded resources closely to teachers’ recent CPD experience; this maximises the impact of SSERC’s CPD training by enabling teachers to put their learning into practice while still enthused by their SSERC training. The two-part structure of the programme is also valued in that this ensures teachers put their learning into practice in their gap task period. The purchase of hands on resources for pupils leaves a lasting legacy of Edina’s support of schools.
SSERC’s remit to train teachers across the whole of Scotland enables Edina to reach schools in areas where its traditional Science Grant Scheme model does not work. Although Edina’s work covers the whole of the UK it intentionally funds more Scottish projects because it a Scottish registered charity; its collaboration with SSERC helps this to be achieved.

The Edina Trust sought and valued SSERC’s input when developing its in-house boxed science kit, free to UK schools. The resulting “Science Close Up” kit has been well received by teachers who have commented on its simplicity and its flexibility. The Trustees are considering extending the numbers of boxes available to schools to 50 this year based on the demand for last year’s boxes

To visit the Edina Trust website click here.


ESP is a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners established to increase Scotland’s capability and capacity to deliver the right skills for the energy, engineering and construction sectors to meet industry demand.
Building on this ESP has identified three new priorities:

  • Innovation in Education
  • STEM Strategy
  • Emerging Technologies

By working in a cohesive partnership Scotland’s colleges demonstrate a responsiveness and collective capability to provide the technical skills required by industry.

SSERC and ESP will work in partnership to develop and deliver Career Long Professional Learning to support the needs to the education community in Scotland.

To visit the ESP website click here.

Primary Science Teaching Trust

The Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) is a registered charity whose goal is to facilitate the development and dissemination of excellence in primary science.  As a strategic partner of SSERC, we work together to promote excellence in the learning and teaching of science (and technology) in primary schools in Scotland.  This strategic partnership allows SSERC to further develop and extend its Primary Cluster Programme in Scottish primary schools, allowing for the development of a sustainable and scalable model. The partnership with PSTT provides support for the appointment of both a Primary science education officer and a research assistant.

Click here to visit the PSTT website.

Scottish Government: Learning Directorate

Our main contact with Scottish Government is with the Learning Directorate which aims to ensure success for Scotland’s learners through an effective school system and wider learning environment.

It is responsible for:

  • promoting quality implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence
  • developing a teaching workforce with the right ambition, skills and motivation
  • leadership in schools, communities and nationally
  • ensuring infrastructure and access to digital technology is available
  • implementing a system that focuses on performance improvement, innovation and good practice.

We are grateful to the Scottish Government for its financial support which facilitates a range of career long professional learning to support those in the education community with a specific focus on STEM.

Click here to visit the Scottish Government: Learning Directorate website.

Wellcome Trust

Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. They support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research.

Click here to visit the Wellcome Trust Website


Explorify is Wellcome’s free resource of engaging, creative science activities and has been designed to spark curiosity, discussion and debate. From video to hands-on activities, it’s easy to get Explorifying!

We are pleased to be supporting Wellcome to promote the Explorify programme in Scotland and ensure its longevity.

To visit the Explorify website click here.

General Teaching Council for Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland carries out a wide range of statutory functions and initiatives to promote, support and develop the professional learning of teachers.

In 2018 SSERC was formally awarded with the ‘GTCS Quality Mark as a Professional Learning Organisation’.
A relatively recent innovation offered by GTCS, the Professional Learning Award for Organisations celebrates and recognises those organisations which support and promote teacher professional learning and identifies those which aim through their work:
‘to develop and enhance teachers’ knowledge, expertise and skill; develop their professionalism, and to impact positively on learning experiences and outcomes of children and young people’
Whilst we have always believed that our professional learning is of high quality, this formal recognition by GTCS is important as we seek to further enhance our reputation for quality.
We are grateful to the GTCS for their continued sponsorship of the Scottish Universities Science School.

Click here to visit the GTCS Website

STEM Learning

STEM Learning is the largest provider of education and careers support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the UK. They work with schools, colleges and others working with young people across the UK. SSERC is STEM Learning’s strategic partner in Scotland.

Supported by a unique partnership of Government, charitable trusts and employers, they are dedicated to raising young people’s engagement and achievement in STEM subjects and careers.

We work in partnership with STEM Learning to deliver the STEM Ambassador programme; the ENTHUSE Partnership programme and the ETHUSE Bursary programme in Scotland.

Click Here to visit the STEM Learning website

SCQF Partnership

We are pleased to be recognised by the SCQF Partnership as an SCQF Inclusive Recruiter.
The purpose of the Inclusive Recruiter campaign is to encourage employers to agree to incorporate SCQF levels into their recruitment processes to highlight better the skills and experience required for any given post, not just specific qualifications.

For more information on the SCQF Partnership, click here

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