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STEM Subjects: Ethnic Groups

Question for Department for Education

UIN 20484, tabled on 25 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage BAME participation in (a) the study of STEM subjects and (b) STEM careers.

Answered on

4 March 2020

The Government continues to invest in a number of initiatives to improve the quality of teaching of STEM subjects in schools and encourage more students from all backgrounds into STEM education and training, at all stages from primary school to higher education.

The Department has created a national network of 37 school-led Maths Hubs to help schools improve the quality of their mathematics teaching for all pupils based on best practice. We have also introduced the £76 million Teaching for Mastery programme, which is bringing mastery teaching to 11,000 schools across England between 2016 and 2023.

The Department has introduced the Advanced Maths Premium (AMP) to support the education sector to increase the number of students studying high-quality maths qualifications to Level 3. The AMP provides £600 additional funding per year for each additional student taking a Level 3 mathematics qualification in comparison to a baseline.

The Department is prioritising and investing in digital education, building a diverse pipeline of talent which is critical to supporting the UK’s long-term economic ambitions. In November 2018, we launched the National Centre for Computing Education, supported by £84 million of new funding, to improve computing education, through high-quality training and resources.

The Department continues to fund the network of 41 Science Learning Partnerships, which offers bespoke advice and continuous professional development to support schools in overcoming barriers to offering GCSE triple science. While triple science provides a good foundation to study all three sciences at A-Level, we recognise that those students who study triple science are more likely to study science at A-Level.

The Department funds the Stimulating Physics Network to provide support to schools to improve progression to physics A-Level, as well as Isaac Physics, an online education platform, which aims to increase and prepare the numbers of students who choose to study physics at university.

The Department is also improving STEM careers advice in schools and colleges. The Careers & Enterprise Company is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships to make sure that experience with STEM employers for all young people is built into careers and enterprise plans. We are also working with businesses, educators and learned societies to understand what the gaps and barriers are for people entering the STEM industry.