Previous news

Below is an archive of previous news from the STEM Commission:

Haringey STEM Commission hosts future skills event at Parliament

Leading figures from industry and policy came together at the Palace of Westminster this week for a meeting hosted by the Haringey STEM commission to explore ways to improve education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and increase access to STEM employment opportunities.

Chaired by journalist Robert Peston and introduced by Cllr Claire Kober, the Leader of Haringey Council, the event considered the question of what skills today’s school students will need to prosper in the world after 2030.

Roger Carr, the Chairman of BAE Systems focused on the need to encourage greater gender equality in STEM jobs, saying: “We have to encourage girls and young women to see STEM careers as exciting and ones they are ideally suited for.”

The panel also stressed the importance of combining STEM skills with learning from other areas and subjects.

Katie O’Donovan, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager at Google UK, said:

We need a digitally literate workforce. We want a broad base of understanding that can be applied across all subjects.

Angus Knowles-Cutler, Vice Chairman and London Senior Partner, at Deloitte said: “We are seeing people almost over-specialise, we are looking for breadth”, a point echoed by Peter Hyman, head teacher at School 21 in Stratford.

You have got to have subjects combining at school, you can’t have narrow silos” he said, adding: “We are doing far too many exams at school, which stops you having the broader curriculum

With researching showing that employers find it difficult to fill the close to three million UK jobs that require STEM skills, Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England another panellist at the event, cited the economic benefits of ensuring those leaving education have the skills which employers require.

As a country we are 20 times richer than we were in 1850 and 90 percent of that income has been as a result of improved productivity, and within that 90 percent it is the skills of the workforce that have held the key to productivity.

The event follows a number of evidence session from the Haringey STEM Commission, in which residents, experts and organisations have shared their ideas and opinions on STEM education and employment to help inform the commission’s report due next year.

The Haringey STEM Commission was established by Cllr Kober. She said:

It’s fantastic that the Haringey STEM Commission is able to draw on the insights of such well-regarded figures as the Chief Economist at the Bank of England and the Chairman of BAE Systems.

Such evidence will be invaluable in helping to think about the how we can improve uptake and attainment in the STEM subjects and enable more Haringey residents to access careers in these sectors.

The Haringey STEM Commission is led by Baroness Sally Morgan – who chaired the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills last year – and boasts an expert panel including Robert Peston, former Tomorrow’s World host and co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC Maggie Philbin and Michael McKenzie, head teacher at Alexandra Park School, Haringey. It will publish its report next year.

Call for Evidence Extended

As the Commission has got its work underway more and more people are wanting to get involved and contribute their ideas and experiences. That is why we are extending the deadline for our Call for Evidence to the end of the year.

We want to hear from as many people with an interest in STEM as possible, and you can read about the sort of questions we are looking at here.

If you’re not able to put in a specific submission, we would also really appreciate any contacts, resources or existing pieces of work you may have that might help us address these questions. We’re accepting submissions in any form up until Monday 4th January. You can contact us by emailing

Commission holds first evidence session

On Monday 23rd November members of the Commission held their first evidence session at Haringey Council’s offices in Wood Green. The aim of this session was to hear from local health partners about their skills requirements and how well the education system currently meets them, as well as from experts from the science education world, including Tottenham UTC and the Wellcome Trust. You can download the discussion paper for the meeting and a note of the discussion below. The next evidence session takes place on Thursday 10th December, when we will be hearing from a range of businesses and employers from the STEM sectors.


Haringey STEM Commission launched

An independent commission that will aim to raise attainment and pave the way to greater opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has been launched in Haringey.

The Haringey Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Commission will investigate barriers to STEM education and employment and make recommendations for raising interest, attainment and access to STEM opportunities.

It will be chaired by Baroness Sally Morgan, who chaired the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills last year and boasts an expert panel including journalist Robert Peston, former Tomorrow’s World host and co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC Maggie Philbin, Managing Director of London Stansted Airport Andrew Harrison, and Michael McKenzie, head teacher at Alexandra Park School, Haringey.

There are currently close to three million jobs in the UK that demand STEM skills, with the vast majority in industries that are expected to grow significantly in the coming years. However recent research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, highlighted that employers find it difficult to fill around half of all STEM-based job vacancies due to a shortage of candidates with the required qualifications.

There are also concerns that if the STEM skills gap remains unaddressed, major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and ambitious regeneration schemes across the capital could be threatened by a lack of suitable employees to deliver them.

Baroness Sally Morgan, Chair of the Commission said:

The growth of the STEM sectors presents considerable opportunities for job seekers with the relevant skills and qualifications. However we know that at school level and beyond STEM subjects are not as popular as they should be. Girls in particular are much less likely to pursue a STEM education and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to perform less well than their counterparts

We want to address this to ensure all of Haringey’s young people are able to take advantage of the wide range of career choices out there. We want to look at why this is happening, search out good practice, and promote practical ways forward for Haringey.

Cllr Claire Kober OBE, speaking at the Haringey-supported National Conference for School Improvement said:

Offering Haringey’s young people access to the best possible opportunities in life is one of our biggest priorities as a council. Once Google opens in Kings Cross there will be more tech jobs in London than there are in Silicon Valley. That’s why it’s so important to establish this Commission, which I hope will challenge us to adopt practical ways to break down barriers, put in place the right training and education and open up greater opportunities in the STEM sectors to more young people in the borough.

I hope this work will lead to practical suggestions as to how more Haringey residents are able to access careers in these exciting and important industries. Opening up these opportunities will also enable the borough to play its part in the London economy, increasing productivity, driving innovation and addressing skill shortages.