Consultation response: Purpose and quality of education in England

25 January 2016

The Education Select Committee has opened an inquiry into the Purpose and quality of education in England. The Inquiry asks:

  • What the purpose of education for children of all ages in England should be?
  • What measures should be used to evaluate the quality of education against this purpose?
  • How well the current education system performs against these measures?

The Royal Society welcomes the inquiry as consensus on the aims of our education system will help provide the stability needed to support excellent teaching and enable innovation. A clear vision will support coherent policy development and implementation.

The key points of the response are:

  1. Education gives young people the opportunity to live a rewarding life, equipping them to be active participants in society.
  2. There is currently a shortage of STEM skilled school-leavers and graduates, holding back potential growth in the economy and a wide appreciation of science.
  3. Improved science and mathematics education has an important role to play in fulfilling both the intellectual needs of individuals and the economic needs of the nation.
  4. A broad and balanced baccalaureate style curriculum to 18 will best equip young people with the range of skills they will need.
  5. Professional, well-supported, motivated and trusted teachers are needed to inspire young people to participate in STEM subjects.