STEP is a national knowledge exchange centre supporting equitable access to education for mobile communities. It is funded mainly by Scottish Government and is based at the University of Edinburgh.
STEP’s vision is to be a centre for excellence supporting education leaders, teachers, and families to ensure that education is accessible, authentic and has the highest expectations for all children and young people from mobile cultures in Scotland.
STEP aims to:
- Ensure that the values, lifestyles and educational needs of mobile communities, whether settled or nomadic, are reflected in national policy and curriculum development.
- Offer knowledge and skills development to the teaching profession based on research-informed pedagogy
- Ensure that digital technologies connect children and their families with education to reflect the cultural contexts in which they learn
- Ensure that our approach is research-led and evidence-based
- Support staff to use and interpret data critically and ethically to inform decision making
Our work is delivered through three strands of activity:
Participate – involves children and their families in projects using a creative citizenship model to mobilise their rights and ideas about education. Together we tackle issues relating to poverty, education rights, bullying, and all forms of societal discrimination.
Connect – is a network of teachers, families and children throughout Scotland who are learning through digital media. Together we develop new models to support innovative digital pedagogy including accessible learning management systems.
Learn – we cultivate a community of shared learning by connecting children and families with our own research, teacher professional learning and initial teacher education. During the Covid period we do this online through training seminars, workshops, resource production, and through web and social media.
Working with communities, local authorities and other agencies is central to the success of our work. We may do this to understand how new technologies can support innovative and remote learning approaches or perhaps to work with teachers to identify priorities in the changing policy landscape. Over the past years our work has grown to provide research, resources and training for education staff throughout Scotland. Much of what we do is generated in partnership with the travelling communities who share their views on education and other public services.
TENET: The Traveller Education Network
A key part of STEP is the Traveller Education Network (TENET), a national professional learning community dedicated to supporting the education of mobile communities. STEP provides support and training to the membership. TENET members communicate through a Microsoft Teams group. Members collaborate with STEP in the production of resources, case studies, qualitative research and information exchange to benefit the education of mobile families throughout Scotland.
STEP understands the importance of continual professional development. We deliver virtual and in-situ training on a range of themes relating to mobile communities and education. Whether you want to gain a deeper understanding of mobile cultures, experiment with learning and teaching approaches, or examine recent policy changes, our tailored training packages can ensure you increase your effectiveness in your profession.
We receive support from several of Scottish Government’s policy areas relating to children’s education, wellbeing and equitable access to education.