The quality of post-16 courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) is being “undermined” by a lack of time for staff to develop their skills and knowledge, a new report claims.
In a consultation carried out for the Education and Training Foundation, staff from FE colleges, sixth-form colleges and learning providers told the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) that funding cuts made it difficult for them to take part in continuing professional development (CPD) to improve and update their skills.
They also reported poor awareness of Stem careers among young people, causing a fall in demand for Stem courses, and that access to high quality Stem-related CPD was limited.
The report recommends that the ETF support the recruitment and retention of Stem staff, provide Stem-related CPD and opportunities to share best practice, and support greater involvement from employers.
It follows a report earlier this year by think tank NEF: The Innovation Institute, which called for a “radical overhaul” of Stem-based FE courses to avert a “wholesale crisis” in industry.