STEM Learning's response to The Advanced British Standard consultation

By Michael Anderson posted 25-03-2024 10:08

In December 2023, the government launched a to help shape the development of the Advanced British Standard (ABS) – which would replace the existing structures of A and T levels. 
The ABS would offer students more choice in their post-16 education and increase the number of subjects that they study. Additionally, the number of hours taught would increase and all students would be required to study Mathematics and English up to the age of 18. The new standard aims to better prepare young people for employment, higher education, and life. 
STEM Learning supports the ambition to reform and improve 16-19 education. As Séverine Trouillet, our Chief Executive, said: “A brilliant STEM education is one of the most powerful tools we have for fixing social mobility. The data is clear: STEM careers are higher paying and extremely fulfilling, helping to tackle big challenges such as climate change.
"However, access is still limited for some brilliant young people. If we can help those young people gain the skills and aspiration to succeed in a STEM career, there is no doubt they will succeed.” 
We support the intention to create a 16-19 education system which delivers a broad curriculum, with a more integrated approach to academic and vocational education. Additionally, the intention of the ABS to achieve a greater parity of esteem between technical and academic pathways, is welcome. 
Teacher training would have a vital role to play in the implementation of the Advance British Standard. As the new qualification is developed, it is important that educators receive subject specific CPD to upskill them and ensure that they can support their students to succeed in whatever pathway they choose. 
The introduction of the ABS will require clear and comprehensive support to schools so that they can offer the proposed breadth of curriculum in all regions and to ensure the new qualification works for all. 
As the largest provider of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) education support to schools in the UK, STEM Learning stands ready to support the successful implementation of the Advance British Standard.