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Glow of enthusiasm

Brian Cunningham, an East Lothian science technician, is unusual in two respects: he is a Glow mentor, and he regularly writes his own blog.

These activities are raising the profile of a group of specialists described by the Scottish Science Advisory Committee as "vital in providing high quality science education". The Committee, in its initial report, went on to recommend urgent action to provide "attractive career paths and development opportunities" for technicians.

To date not much has happened in response. Indeed, single status job evaluation has seen officials in some authorities "downgrading science technicians to the same level as senior cleaners", he says. Yet he is optimistic for the future of the service. "There are a lot of experienced, enthusiastic, knowledgeable individuals out there."

High hopes are invested in a Scottish Executive report on professional development that is currently working its way towards publication - which could, unfortunately, be delayed by the forthcoming election.

"That report will be important in helping map out the future of the technician service in Scotland. It will have an impact on every school and science department.

"It's not often the Executive says, 'Tell us how, in an ideal world, the technician service should be run'."

* Brian's blog: http:exc-el.org.ukblogsbrian

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