A London First! Waltham Forest Post-16 Partnership start their STEM Assured Programme
Waltham Forest in East London is aiming to lead the way in being first place in the country to drive excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at a regional level. The Waltham Forest Post-16 Partnership are working with NEF: The Innovation Institute to undertake the prestigious STEM Assured Programme. Sir George Monoux College, Leyton Sixth Form College, Holy Family Catholic School and Heathcote School commenced the STEM Assured Standard programme simultaneously. At a launch event held on 4 March 2015 at Leyton Sixth Form College, Professor Sa’ad Medhat CEO of NEF, welcomed the outstanding initiative of the Partnership in taking this step toward achieving the STEM Assured accolade. Professor Medhat added, “It is good to see such strong cooperation between institutions who want to enhance their STEM capability and focus. Such an ambition will help to deliver vital STEM skills thereby underpinning economic growth in the Waltham Forest region; establish a precedence in STEM excellence and encourage a greater supply of STEM students for all the institutions involved.”
The goal for the Partnership is for each institution to achieve STEM Assured separately, but if all four achieve the standard the Waltham Forest Partnership will also receive a STEM Assured Award in recognition of their collective achievement.
Kevin Watson, Principal of Leyton Sixth Form College (and the Director of the Waltham Forest Post-16 Partnership), added “There is much good provision already in the schools and colleges which work together in the Waltham Forest Post-16 Partnership. By gaining the STEM Assured seal of approval, we hope to build on those strengths and help ensure that any future student coming to study STEM subjects at Leyton, Monoux, Heathcote or Holy Family will receive the best possible learning experience.”
Paolo Ramella, an ex-Physics Teacher and Principal of Sir George Monoux College, said of the reasoning behind going for STEM Assured: “A very large proportion of our students aspire to a career in a STEM subject. We want to match their aspirations by aiming high and servicing them with the best possible provision. The STEM Assured programme will focus our college and our partnership and will improve the progression of our students to satisfying and rewarding careers in areas that are big drivers for our economy.”
Zoe Cozens, Head Teacher at Heathcote School and Science College, said: “Commencing with the STEM Assured Programme will enable us to strengthen the STEM delivery we have across our curriculum, and ensure that we continue to drive improvement and better connectivity with employers, universities and the community in which we are in.”
Dr Andy Stone, Head Teacher at Holy Family Catholic School, said: “Ultimately, it is about the impact and value our STEM education delivers to others. As educators, we have to create challenge in students, but also in our teaching environment. Undertaking STEM Assured will enable us to innovate and pursue excellence in STEM to propel young people into the careers and lives they seek to achieve.”
Hayder Khan, Director of the Waltham Forest Science Project and lead for this programme, said about the STEM Assured process: “The process of assuring the delivery of STEM education and training by NEF is very rigorous and will aid us to enhance engagement and success with our students, universities and employers.”
Prof Sa’ad Medhat with Paolo Ramella (centre), Dr Andy Stone (left corner), Kevin Watson (right corner), Hayder Khan (centre-left) and other WF Partnership members at the STEM Assured launch.