Despite the changing Sixth Form education landscape, some colleges are seizing the opportunity to reinvent themselves by shining a light on their STEM provision to support their students and local economies.
Blackpool Sixth College in the North West and Ernest Bevin in the London Borough of Wandsworth are both focusing on STEM subjects to raise the aspirations of their students and address the needs of local employers and their communities.
Jill Gray, Principal of Blackpool Sixth College Said: "Blackpool Sixth students, staff and directors are delighted by the award of STEM Assured status. We see this as an important recognition at a national level for our extensive and innovative work in STEM-related education. We are particularly pleased that the STEM Assured assessor's report highlights our students' high levels of successful progression to higher study and careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. We are also very proud of the praise given to our partnership working with schools, universities and employers. We feel that this award represents a major success for the Fylde Coast community, which we serve and shows our continuing contribution to the educational and career prospects of young people in the region."
Mark Weatherhead, Vice Principal of Ernest Bevin College said: “Ernest Bevin College is extremely pleased to have become one of the first schools in the UK to have been awarded the STEM Assured Standard. This prestigious award recognises the success achieved by our students in STEM subjects and the continuous investment by the college in improving facilities and updating technology. It also recognises the commitment of our staff to preparing our young people for the workplace of the future. Our plans for underpinning the STEM Assured status include forging stronger links with industry, in particular with the Nine Elms Development in nearby Battersea, so that we can provide a direct route for our students through education into employment opportunities.”
Prof Sa’ad Medhat, STEM Foundation’s CEO said: “Sixth Form colleges can reposition themselves and become more competitive by embracing STEM as a strategic differentiator. We have seen a renewed focus and credible innovations in STEM provision by such colleges that optimised opportunities for their students to pursue higher education, apprenticeships and employment. The STEM Assured process provides an action plan that delivers impact for STEM Assured colleges”.