A PRIMARY teacher has made a passionate plea for more resources to deliver science education.

Susan Boyd, a teacher from Perth and Kinross, said a drive to improve the teaching of science and technology was being hampered because too many staff were leaving.

The concerns were raised at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s education committee, which is looking at the current delivery of Stem.

Ms Boyd said: “There is a high turn-over of early years staff so we may train people and give them resources, but then we need to retrain.

“We need to create the resources and then we need to teach them and we don’t have enough bodies on the ground to do that effectively.

“We may be doing it, but we are not doing it effectively and a lot of it is being done on goodwill.”

Ms Boyd said teachers could have a passion for science and “all the training in the world”, but schools still needed staff to help deliver it.

She added: “If you have a class of 25 children with a large percentage with additional needs and you do not have any support ... you need the staffing to consistently deliver Stem.”

Elisabeth Kelly, a principal teacher in Midlothian Council, said in early learning settings the majority of staff were not qualified teachers and came from backgrounds with very limited Stem input.

She said: “Stem can’t just be one teacher’s passion, it has to be everybody’s. It has to be every teacher that can deliver this to a really high quality all the time, not just on one-off science visits.”

Scottish Labour MSP Iain Gray asked government officials why Stem was not more of a priority alongside literacy and numeracy in policy documents.

“The problem is that the system does not recognise this as being core in the same way as it recognises, rightly, things like literacy and numeracy,” he said.

However, Andrew Bruce, deputy director in the Scottish Government’s learning directorate insisted Stem was part of the core curriculum.

“Three out of the eight curricular areas are Stem related so it covers mathematics, science and technology,” he said.

“I accept in the National Improvement Framework that the government has said there is a focus on literacy and numeracy, on raising attainment and health and well-being.

“There is a danger that if everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.”