Getting Girls into STEM.

42% of 500+ employers in the UK reported having difficulties recruiting STEM-skilled staff in a 2012 CBI survey. Only 13% of the entire UK STEM workforce are girls! In fact, the UK has lowest number of female engineers in Europe, at only 9%. Getting girls into STEM subjects at school is still challenging and uptake can vary each year and in each school. Not enough girls study STEM subjects and consequently are unable pursue STEM careers. Furthermore, in my own experience as a teacher, girls are likely to opt for Biology should they choose a science A-Level. What is the solution? There is no doubt that we, as teachers, can inspire our students; it's up to us to find ways to include more girls

Who is STEM for anyway?

Too often STEM opportunities are given to gifted and talented pupils in one or more of the STEM subjects. STEM clubs have requirements in terms of grades for pupils to attend. STEM university visits are arranged for higher ability pupils before they choose their GCSE’s, to encourage them to make appropriate choices. Extras support in Maths is offered to under achievers and those labelled ‘pupil premium’ ignoring the average pupil. So just who is STEM for anyway? In 2011, “The current and future UK science workforce” paper produced for The Science Council found that 5.8 million people were employed in the science sector, which equates to 20% of the UK workforce, ranging from construction and

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Kirsty Bertenshaw

 

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