Consultation on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for the Education and Training Foundation

Suzanne Straw

22 July 2014

Between January and March 2014, NFER completed a consultation on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the newly formed Education and Training Foundation (the Foundation). The Foundation was set up to improve professionalism and standards in the further education and skills sector in England. One hundred and forty-two consultees took part in the consultation.


Over the next 12 months, consultees recommended that the Foundation should:

  • support the recruitment and retention of STEM staff within the sector
  • provide STEM-related continuing professional development (CPD) and opportunities for sharing effective practice
  • gather and disseminate examples of transferable effective practice relating to STEM
  • support greater involvement from industry
  • robustly evaluate the impacts of its STEM-related CPD provision.

Key Findings

  • The sector is facing a range of challenges in the delivery of STEM provision relating to: funding; engaging with employers; reduced demand for provision as a result of lack of quality careers advice in schools; changes to academic and vocational qualifications; and the reform of Apprenticeships
  • In addition, challenges are being faced regarding the sector workforce related to: recruitment and retention of staff; updating the knowledge and skills of staff; and lack of STEM-related CPD.