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Members' Update: Committees Report - Winter 2017

2 November 2017

In addition to our Trustees and Education Group, ASE has several dedicated committees and specialist groups who work on behalf on the whole of our professional network. Their expertise and experience forms part of ASE’s voice. Each committee periodically issues a short update for members about the work they are undertaking on their behalf.

ASE Education group

  • All our work links to the ASE strategic plan and we use this to guide our priorities.
  • We spent time looking at and carrying out CPD activities relating to the Gatsby Good Practical Science Report. We will be working further to develop outcomes from this report.
  • We also discussed a response to Amanda Speilman’s interim report on the quality of the curriculum in schools, we particularly have concerns about the amount of time allocated to science (A core subject) in primary science. 
  • We continue to work on ASE Best Practice documents. In the pipeline are Inclusion, Mathematics in Science, Diversity, and Science and sustainability. See the existing ones produced through the collaborative expertise of ASE committee members.
  • We will further be focusing on formative assessment in science, led by the Chair-Elect Mary Whitehouse.

Chair  Linda Needham CSciTeach

ASE Health and Safety Group

  • Published further Revised Topics in Safety (members only) which we aim to complete in 2018, alongside a review of the guidance made available.
  • We continue to develop our 'Yes We Can!' workshop at the ASE Annual Conference, a demonstration of practical activities often thought to be banned or restricted.
  • Written for Education in Science on safe practical science.
  • Participated in government consultations on proposed legislation that affects school science.
  • We will revise 'Safeguards in the School Laboratory' by 2020, producing a new 12th edition.

Chair Ralph Whitcher

ASE Technician Committee

  • We discussed ASE CPD available to technicians and technician cover.
  • Our committee seeks to raise awareness via social media channels of the support we offer. We want technicians to tell us what is happening in their world and the problems they face, and how we might help to resolve concerns.
  • We aim to further encourage participation in RSciTech where appropriate and to offer help to start the process.

Chair Ann Bullen RSciTech

ASE Futures Committee

  • We have several new committee members representing different sectors and have confirmed our elected officials - Liz Lawrence (Chair), Will Haywood (Vice Chair) and Pete Robinson (Secretary). We will also be revising operating procedures and have raised our ideas and concerns around futures membership.
  • We have confirmed the date for our summer conference (5-6 July 2018) based on the survey of members views. We are in the process of confirming keynote speakers and the venue. Our plans will be progressed at virtual committee meetings which will take place this term.
  • Following the webinar with Matthew Newberry, we are exploring blogs, webinars, ASEChats and other social media to engage Futures members who do not have easy access to face to face local events. The first webinar will focus on the new GCSE’s.

Chair Liz Lawrence CSciTeach

ASE Research Group

  • We have two new committee members and two other members have been approached for co-option to fill skills shortage for this year.
  • We discussed and agreed the publication schedule for Education in Science and Science Teacher Education.
  • Arrangements for the research day on the Saturday of Annual Conference were agreed and will be overseen by Shirley Simon.
  • Discussion, planning and organisation of the content and schedule of the new ASE Research Guide were discussed and agreed. It will be launched at ASE Annual Conference in Jan 2019. Workshops based on some of its content will be provided at the ASE Futures Conference in 2018.

Interim-Chair Dr Chris Harrison

ASE International Group

  • New ASE International Journal is intended to share international education expertise.
  • ASE International Day Proceedings (members only) published for the first time for the 2017 conference.
  • We have proposed an international conference in Hong Kong in November 2018. More information to be announced.
  • Our group now includes members working in Europe and Asia, together with a wider network of people working on international projects and as consultants in international contexts. This includes talks with:
    • European physical societies on support for physics education in Africa
    • The Royal Society about Science on Stage
    • ICASE about a UK teacher scholarship to attend the NSTA Conference
    • The NSTA President who will attend the Annual Conference in Liverpool and speak at the International Dinner
    • The British Council to support curriculum development and science leadership development overseas.
    • And further discussion with representatives in Dubai, Egypt, and Singapore.

Chair Mary Whitehouse CSciTeach

ASE Publications Group

  • The Committee is overseeing a regrouping of ASE Journals to ensure they still maintain their independence but reflect the wider ASE umbrella.
  • The new editions of the ASE Guides to Primary Science and to Secondary Science will be ready for release at the ASE National Conference; work on the new edition of the Guide to Research is underway. In the coming year we will be supporting the new edition of the Research Guide as well as a new edition of Safeguards in Science. 
  • The ASE Book of the Year shortlist has been made and will be detailed in EiS - the winner will be revealed at National Conference.
  • The group continues to review and recommend books for the ever growing Bookshop as well as review prices to ensure that members get the best value possible.

Chair Alaric Thompson CSciTeach

ASE Primary Committee

  • We have two new members to represent Wales (Liam Coupland) and Northern Ireland (Lorna Stevenson). We also welcomed Shane Nolan and Asima Qureshi as guests to the meeting.
  • The primary conference programme is now complete and speakers for the Brenda Keough lecture are being confirmed.
  • Recruitment for the Friday Pop Up and Saturday’s new TeachMeet is underway.
  • We reviewed the ASE Strategic Plan and used this to consider our main actions for the upcoming year.

Chair Naomi Hiscock

How to apply for Committee membership

As part of ASE’s Committees or Specialist Groups, your expertise and experience will form part of ASE’s influential voice. You could also be part of setting the agenda for ASE’s activity in providing timely professional learning across science education. Committee members find that they learn a great deal, have valuable experience to add to that of the group, make friends and enjoy the experience. Find out more about ASE committees.

 If you are interested in becoming a member on any our committees please consider completing a nomination form above.