STEM Subjects

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to promote STEM careers and pathways to (a) students, (b) parents, (c) teachers and (d) governors as part of the 2018 Year of Engineering.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education)

The Year of Engineering 2018 is a year-long, cross-government, national campaign aimed at raising the profile of engineering among seven to 16 year olds and widening the pool of young people that consider engineering as a career.

It will do this by:

- Working with partners from different sectors to give young people direct and inspiring experiences of engineering, including outreach work in schools, behind the scenes tours and activities for young people and their families.

- Showcasing the variety, creativity and social value of modern engineering and the difference it can make to people’s live, appealing to the career aspirations of young people, in particular girls and young women.

- Challenging negative or traditional perceptions of the profession and obstacles to considering it as a career choice by putting engineering role models in the spotlight to show that background, gender and education do not need to be a barrier to becoming an engineer.

The department’s reforms of the national curriculum and qualifications will ensure that young people study a rigorous mathematics and science curriculum that will provide them with the foundation they will need to study engineering at the next stage of their education or to enter employment.

We also have a number of initiatives to improve the quality of teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in schools, such as incentives to attract top graduates into teaching and the provision of high quality professional development for teachers through the network of mathematics hubs and science learning partnerships. More targeted support for schools also seeks to address more specific issues such as the take-up of mathematics and physics at A-level, particularly among girls, and the number of pupils opting to take GCSE triple science. From 2018-19, the Advanced Maths Premium will provide schools and colleges an additional £600 per year for every extra pupil studying one of a range of academic level 3 mathematics qualifications.

The department is improving STEM careers advice in schools, including ensuring that STEM encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school career programmes by updating school and college statutory guidance.

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