RSE Education Committee

The RSE Education Committee was established in 2009. Through the Committee, the RSE identifies and promotes priorities for education in Scotland. Membership comprises a broad range of experience from across Scotland’s education sector.


The Education Committee:

  • Is concerned with all aspects of education in Scotland, and at all stages;
  • Considers education initiatives or proposals and advises RSE Council on how the Society should respond to these, particularly those from Government;
  • Organises events that stimulate debate on educational issues;
  • Is proactive in identifying and promoting priorities for education in Scotland;
  • Liaises with other relevant groups, including other RSE Committees.




There are a number of major reforms underway in Scottish education, not least the continuing implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and the new national qualifications in Scotland.

The Committee has been concerned about the absence of a strategy for independent evaluation of the CfE reforms and has engaged with the Scottish Government on its proposals for commissioning the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to review CfE. The RSE has collated materials relating to the development and implementation of Curriculum for Excellence which have been submitted to the OECD reviewers.

In collaboration with others, the Committee has produced resources to support the teaching of Chemistry and Computing Science in Scottish schools. The Computing Science and Chemistry exemplification materials are freely available.

All reports produced using the expertise of the Education Committee are listed with our advice papers.

In collaboration with the STEM Education Committee (STEMEC), the RSE Education Committee has prioritised activity to embed interdisciplinary learning (IDL) within Scottish education.

The following paper, The Why’s, What’s and How’s of Interdisciplinary Learning, explains what IDL is, why it is important and how it can be delivered within and beyond schools.

The Why’s, What’s and How’s of Interdisciplinary Learning

In view of its centrality to Curriculum for Excellence, the RSE and STEMEC established a National Action Group comprising organisations from across Scottish education to support the implementation of IDL. The group has agreed a National Statement on IDL.

National Statement: Interdisciplinary Learning in the 21st Century Classroom

Committee Information

Keir Bloomer FRSE (Convener)

Audrey Cumberford, MBE FRSE, Principal, Edinburgh College (Vice-Convener)

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive, Children in Scotland

Professor Alice Brown, CBE FRSE FAcSS, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Edinburgh

Dr Janet Brown FRSE, member of Education Advisory Group, British Council, and former Chief Executive, Scottish Qualifications Authority

Vincent Docherty, Head of Education, Aberdeenshire Council

Dr Alison Elliot, CBE FRSE, General Secretary, Royal Society of Edinburgh

Anna Hazel-Dunn, Head Teacher, Nether Currie Primary School

Professor Walter Humes, Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling

Dr Alice König, Senior Lecturer in Latin and Classic Studies, University of St Andrews, and member of RSE Young Academy

Professor Karl Leydecker, Senior Vice-Principal, University of Aberdeen

Dr Ingela Naumann, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh, and alumni of RSE Young Academy

Mr Scott Pennock, Head Teacher, Wallace High School

Professor Ian Wall, FRSE, Member of Heriot-Watt University Court

Ms Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years, Scottish Book Trust, and member of RSE Young Academy

Dr Rebecca Warren, Physics teacher, St George’s School for Girls, and member of RSE Young Academy

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Edinburgh

Mr Gareth Williams, Head of Policy, Scottish Council for Development and Industry


The Education Committee also maintains links with the Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish Science Education (which is facilitated by the RSE) and the RSE Young Academy of Scotland Excellence in Education working group.




For further information about the work of the RSE Education Committee, please contact William Hardie or telephone on 0131 240 5031.