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One of Scotland’s only all-boys independent schools, Merchiston Castle School, has been awarded the STEM Nation Award by Education Scotland in recognition of its commitment to effective practice in STEM education. Merchiston is the first independent school to win the accolade.

The award consists of five key elements; Leadership in STEM; STEM family and community learning; Employability and STEM partnerships; STEM curriculum and learner progression and Equity and equality in STEM. Merchiston scored highly across all these areas, demonstrating a whole school approach to STEM developments and improvement planning.

Merchiston’s accomplishment speaks to a wider trend to embrace and promote STEM education in Scotland’s independent school sector. Scotland’s independent school pupils frequently excel in STEM subjects, with 62% of pupils achieving a Higher Grade A in mathematics SQA exams.

Likewise, at St. George’s School for Girls, 25% of pupils take all three sciences at GCSE, while over a third of university entrants study STEM-based courses. These figures highlight the headway the independent sector is making when it comes to STEM education.

Dr Clare Nugent, Head of Design, Technology & Engineering at Merchiston, said of the award:

“We are thrilled and honoured to be the first independent school to win the STEM Nation Award from Education Scotland. Merchiston endeavours to create excellent STEM opportunities and learning pathways for our pupils by incorporating all staff, embedding STEM lessons across the curriculum, and engaging the local community and schools in STEM events.

“It is incredible to be recognised for our efforts with this award, and we look forward to building on this achievement in the future.” 

By prioritising and creating access to STEM education, Scotland’s independent schools are cultivating future leaders, innovators and game changers.


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