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Accessing STEM careers What impact can linking STEM subjects to careers have for student progression? What research exists? How can the links be made?

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Presentation on theme: "Accessing STEM careers What impact can linking STEM subjects to careers have for student progression? What research exists? How can the links be made?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Accessing STEM careers What impact can linking STEM subjects to careers have for student progression? What research exists? How can the links be made?

2 Accessing STEM careers Is there a problem? What do we know? What works? Next steps...

3 STEM careers IAG: Is there a problem?

4 What do we know?

5 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study to 2007: Proportion of 15 year-olds in England with a high positive attitude has dropped from 76% to 55% in science, and from 65% to 40% in maths Pupils are doing well in science (and maths) but with relatively low levels of enjoyment.

6 Horizontal axis: Human Development Index Vertical axis: Questions measure of positive attitudes towards studying science Svein Sjoberg, University of Oslo, Project ROSE

7 Programme for International Student Assessment 2006 UK performance is significantly above the OECD average 7 countries (including Japan) performed significantly higher than England 13 countries (including Germany) are not significantly different from England 36 countries (including France and USA) performed significantly worse than England

8 Wellcome Monitor adults and 374 young people (age 14-18) In respondents homes, 45 minutes, random stratified sampling approach YP interested and engaged with school science Quality of teaching and opportunity to conduct practical activities are shown to be crucial to enjoyment of and motivation to learn science Challenges assumption that interest in science decreases between 1y and 2y phases (limited data)

9 Well-informed, regular and from an early age 13 year olds were asked whether they expected to enter a science based career by the age of 30 Those who said they expected to enter such a career turned out to be 3.4 times more likely to earn a physical science or engineering degree than those who did not expect such a career. Tai et al, Science May 2006

10 Science and Maths: See where they can take you (DCSF 2009/10) Students Y9-11 – waverers and non-rejectors of STEM subjects All predicted B or above in these subjects Discussion groups for parents and teachers (separate) Manchester and London, rural to suburban

11 The STEM subjects are felt to be challenging options: Difficult to learn and master Teaching styles can be off putting Less opportunity for adolescent self expression, self exploration and freedom However, they are also subjects with many merits – most significantly: They allow students to learn more about themselves, the world and the way it works They can open doors for the future STEM subjects are very different: Not all experienced similarly by all students Indeed, many of the individual subjects themselves can be experienced erratically depending on their different subject areas Life-stage also dictates level and type of engagement with STEM subjects

12 Where do they go for advice? Career focused - perceived as unknowledgeable, uninspiring Personalized support, but lack knowledge and impartiality Influencers Open days etc… Provide one off aid versus consistent support Trusted authority but not catering for all students and adopt a hands off approach Connexions Schools Parents Teachers Students balance information from all these sources, however an elder sibling / peer can trump as key influencer – impartial, knowledgeable, trusted, accessible

13 Recommendation 3: The Careers Profession Alliance should develop common professional standards and a common code of ethics for careers professionals, and that all organisations represented in the Alliance should expect their members to adhere to these standards. Recommendation 7: Initial training and CPD should include a focus on labour market information (LMI), information and communications technology (ICT), and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), all of which are crucial to all members of the careers profession in delivering high-quality career guidance; and that, through CPD, there should be opportunities for further development of specialisms, leading towards the concept of an Advanced Careers Practitioner. Recommendation 11: Any organisation that is making arrangements for the provision of career guidance to young people should ensure that the provider meets a relevant, nationally approved quality standard, and that Government should support the establishment of such a standard.

14 Careers Profession Task Force Reported to DfE 18 October 2010 Chaired by Dame Ruth Silver Remit: To set out our vision for a transformed careers workforce in England which can offer young people the excellent careers service they deserve and expect.

15 What works?



18 Timeline project A research approach to embedding STEM 28 pilot schools across English regions Mentor support for pilot schools School self-review and action planning for STEM Pupil attitude surveys (before and after) Funded through the STEM Programme ( ) Centre for Education and Industry (CEI) at the University of Warwick International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby Isinglass Consultancy

19 What is a timeline? A planned series of activities and experiences, delivered across a specified age range, which can show a link between STEM subjects and the knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant for work, life and careers

20 Self-review findings - opportunities Most schools find they do more STEM career-relevant activities than they previously recognised Some schools have appointed a STEM co-ordinator Some schools have set up STEM groups, including careers staff Use of enhancement and enrichment activities is widespread - rich in opportunities for STEM careers Schools are keen to develop more work with external partners

21 Findings - challenges Separation of STEM subjects in the curriculum Nobody owns STEM – need for leadership commitment (school SLT supporting subject leaders) Most schools have no strategy for teaching about engineering Careers IAG disconnected from STEM curriculum STEM teachers not equipped to support learning about careers - lack of CPD in this area

22 Output - strategic planning tools Support for creating an environment in which teaching and learning about STEM and STEM careers can flourish (What needs to be in place?) Providing a planning process that will engage key staff, and help build a picture of how STEM and STEM careers fits into the life and work of the school (a timeline) First phase secondaries; hope to work with LSIS Post-16 STEM Programme for FE

23 What needs to be in place? Leadership commitment and vision Appropriate curriculum Appropriate use of STEM enhancement and enrichment Appropriately trained teachers and other staff (workforce) Appropriate use of buildings and physical resources (infrastructure) Rich, varied and appropriate engagement of external partners Strong careers IAG provision



26 Footnotes... BIS Skills for Sustainable Growth (November 2010): We are currently weak in the vital intermediate technical skills that are increasingly important as jobs become more highly skilled and technological change accelerates. Around 58 per cent of net new jobs predicted to appear in the economy between 2007 and 2017 will require employees with STEM skills, equal to 29 per cent of total new and replacement jobs (UK Commission for Employment and Skills 2010) For Technology and Science: continued emphasis for minimum Level 3, need for wider routes to Level 3 / 4 qualifications



29 Economic argument In 2008 UK engineering business turnover was £799 billion pounds per year The UK is the worlds sixth largest manufacturer, generating £150 billion for the economy, 55% of all exports, and employing three million people Engineering UK 2009/10 Report

30 £m The Blue Book 2009, National Office for Statistics


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