Five key findings and six recommendations are highlighted in the inquiry report on Equity in STEM education, released by the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM today - the group for which the BSA acts as Secretariat.  
  
While there have been many reports and inquiries into the STEM skills gap in the UK, the group felt there was a lack of focus specifically on equity within STEM education and the impact this has on young people’s access, attainment and engagement levels. 

The APPG has spent the past 15 months gathering and analysing evidence on whether the education system and schools provide equal opportunities for students of all ages to learn STEM subjects. 

The five findings highlight shortcomings across the education system. They include the need for a more joined-up approach by Government to tackle the causes of inequity in STEM education and an urgency to take a wider, more holistic view of inequity beyond the lens of gender, economic disadvantage or ethnicity.  
 
Other key findings include the need to strengthen STEM-specific teaching, wider access to good careers education, and the inequity schools are reinforcing with their GCSE options, especially in the most disadvantaged areas. 
 
From these findings, the APPG has created six key recommendations. They include calling for a minister responsible for addressing inequity within the education system, making STEM education more relevant to young people, and more action to address teacher shortages in STEM subjects. 
 
The other three recommendations include the full implementation and follow up of changes to careers support and guidance, addressing inequities in Double Award and Triple Science at GCSE, and a review of fundamental changes to STEM GCSEs. 
 
The Chair for the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM, Chi Onwurah MP said:  
 
“The recent global protests on inequality have only further served to highlight that we must continually review the systems we have in place to ensure they are fit for purpose. Nowhere is this clearer than in STEM education.  
 
 “I am pleased to launch the APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’s first report on the incredibly important topic of equity in STEM education. Our report shows that whatever the socio-economic background, from the age of three onwards, children are currently suffering from the levels of inequity in STEM education. 
 
“It has been encouraging to see my colleagues from across the political spectrum come together with organisations who are leading the way in helping make STEM education more equitable for current and future generations. 
 
“The report contains new ideas and solutions that can help more young people build their skills and raise their aspirations. It is my hope that the Government looks closely at the recommendations in the report. Addressing the current inequity in STEM education now will pay dividends, as the next generation go on to plug the current STEM skills gap, ensuring the UK continues to be a world leader in scientific and technological innovation.” 
 
You can learn more about the report at http://bsa.sc/appg