New report calls for action to reverse STEM skills gap

A report recommending major changes to the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has now been published today by the Haringey STEM Commission.

Set up by Haringey Council in autumn 2015, the STEM Commission is independent group, chaired by Baroness Morgan which was asked to raise attainment in STEM subjects.

The STEM Commission gathered evidence from businesses, experts and teachers including Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England; Sir Roger Carr, chairman of BAE Systems Google, the NHS, the Royal Society, Siemens, BT and MPs.

Baroness Morgan of Huyton was supported by commissioners who included Andrew Harrison, Chief Strategy Officer of Manchester Airport Group; Michael McKenzie, Headteacher of Alexandra Park School, Haringey; Robert Peston, Political Editor of ITV News and Maggie Philbin CEO and Founder of TeenTech.

The STEM Commission report has 12 final recommendations including:

  • Establishing a ‘Haringey Diploma’, developed and accredited by employers, business leaders and experts, based on STEM subjects.
  • Setting up two centres of STEM teaching excellence to support and train local teachers.
  • Appointing a Haringey STEM co-ordinator to work with teachers, industry and academics to increase after school STEM teaching and learning including an annual Haringey STEM festival.
  • Encouraging STEM professionals to volunteer in Haringey schools.

Baroness Morgan, Chair of the Haringey STEM Commission said:

“Rapid technological innovation is changing our lives and our education system must adapt quickly to bridge a growing skills gap in science, technology, engineering and maths. The STEM commission has focused its attention on Haringey, but this is clearly a national issue which the government must address.

“There are enormous opportunities for young people – the challenge now is for everyone involved in their education to come together to ensure Britain is a world leader in science, maths, technology and the digital economy.”

Leader of Haringey Council, Claire Kober said:

“We set up the STEM commission because we knew the high-tech jobs of the future will be taken by those who excel in science, technology, engineering or maths. In a highly competitive world it’s clear a new approach is desperately needed to reverse the trend of falling GCSE results in science, technology, engineering and maths across England.

“I want Haringey to lead the way on STEM, raising aspirations for our education system so young people can make the most of the amazing opportunities that will be open to them if they study science, technology, engineering and maths. I urge the new Education secretary to study the STEM commission’s report closely and act to ensure our children don’t get left behind.”

You can download the STEM Report here (PDF, 3.6MB)

Background on the work of the commission

Since its launch in September the Commission held a number of evidence sessions. They met with a wide range of employers to find out their views about the kind of skills our young people will need to prosper in the modern economy and what role they might able to play in supporting Haringey’s schools and colleges.

In December Robert Peston hosted a session at the House of Lords with high profile experts including Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England and Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of BAE Systems. They have also met academics and experts to hear about the very best practice in STEM education.

They also worked with young people, inviting them to join a Haringey branch of Teen Tech’s ‘Young Digital Task Force’ to give students an opportunity to help shape the Commission’s recommendations.

Those who have already been involved in giving evidence and sharing ideas include:
Ada – the National College for Digital Skills, Apps for Good, BAE Systems, Barclays, BBC Learning, BT, City and Islington College, Code Club, CONEL, Deloitte, Digital Schoolhouse, Engineering UK, Fashion Capital, Google UK, Haringey CCG, Kings College London, MedCity, North Middlesex University Hospital, Notifyed, The Royal Society, Sandler Seating, School 21, Siemens, Stemettes, STEMNET, The Tech Partnership, Third Space Learning, The Tinder Foundation, Tottenham UTC, UCL Partners, UKIE, The Wellcome Trust; and local schools, colleges, parents and young people. Although the formal call for evidence period is now closed, the Commission is still happy to hear from anyone with an interest in STEM provision, from Haringey and beyond.

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See previous news for other news stories about the STEM Commission