Jo is the Director of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) a nationwide charity that gives students a taste of real science research while they are still in school. The charity aims to help schools and colleges to develop a culture of research and innovation, encouraging young people to explore all routes, both academic and vocational, into a STEM career.
Dr Foster was previously Vice Principal at Camborne Science and International Academy and the Director of Nexus and Cornwall School of Maths and Science. She has previously held roles as Head of Science, Assistant Headteacher and SENCO. She was a Teaching and Learning Consultant in Science for Cornwall Council, and has led the Oxbridge-Cornwall Hub and the Triple Science Support Hub. She is currently leading Nexus as a Centre for Excellence in education for the most able and an IRIS Partner School.
Dr Foster’s background is in Biology; her Doctorate was awarded for her work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on Maximising Biodiversity in Woodlands planted through the Farm Woodland Scheme. Conclusions from her work have been used in national guidance to farmers and landowners to increase the biodiversity in the British landscape.
Dr Foster is the author of a number of publications. These include Triple Science teaching guidance for the Learning and Skills Support Network; the 21st Century Science textbook for Harper Collins and e-resources for Pearson. She has written a book for the Association of Science Education about the Effective use of Teaching Assistants in Science. She was co-author of the National Strategies e-guide to supporting Gifted and Talented students in Science. Most recently she has written one of the guides for effective delivery of Triple Science for STEM Learning. She has delivered at numerous conferences across the UK and in Ireland on Science teaching and supporting the Most Able.
Jo has been an Advisory Teacher for Engineering UK, and a Trustee for the Institute for Research in Schools. In September 2018, she was appointed as the STEM Education Trustee of the Science Museum Group by the Prime Minister. Jo has sat on the awarding committee of the Royal Society Kavli Medal and the TES Awards. Most recently, in 2021, Jo was appointed to the Strategic Board for Scientific Apprenticeships.