Education Committee Urges Implementation of Report Findings to Safeguard the Future of the Northern Ireland Economy

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 13 January 2010

Reference: EDU 03/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education is urging the Department of Education to take forward quickly recommendations from a report into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (‘STEM’) subjects in schools, published in September 2009. The Report, published by the STEM Review Panel says STEM subjects hold the key to the future success of the Northern Ireland economy.

The Committee for Education today sought the views of key experts on the STEM Review Report and specifically its recommendations for the Department of Education and fully endorsed the view of the STEM Review:

“As an economy, we are trading on a world stage against countries which have been pursuing the growth of STEM over an extended period of time. Our challenge is no different; we need a workforce with STEM qualifications if we are to sustain growth in our economy.”

With that challenge in mind the Committee questioned Department of Education officials on when the Department planned to action the Review’s recommendations which were published in September 2009. The Committee stressed the need to address perceived disconnected STEM activity.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey, said “The Committee today left the Department in no doubt about the need for STEM stakeholder involvement in the joint Departmental Working Group which needs to formulate an action plan quickly. The Committee also wants to see a firm timetable for progress and a deadline for sign off on the action plan, with clear target dates for implementation.”

ENDS

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