What we do

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.

You can find out more about these services in our twice-yearly Advisory Service update

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
  • 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”.