Aspire to STEM

Aspire to STEM programme

Funded by the Department for Education’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund, Aspire to STEM enabled target schools across England to access free CPD and support. The programme concluded 31 March 2020.

This programme aimed to:

  • improve leadership to support STEM teaching
  • develop great teaching of STEM subjects
  • increase science capital within disadvantaged communities
  • increase teachers’ confidence in advising pupils about STEM careers and the transition from school or college to employment


Who was involved?

40 partnerships consisting of over 200 primary and secondary schools in areas designated as Opportunity Areas (OAs) or in Local Authority Districts (LADs), with a category of 5 or 6, and which had an Ofsted rating of 3 or 4.

Schools worked with a dedicated STEM Learning mentor to create a bespoke, flexible and focused selection of free CPD and support for the teachers and leaders in their school or partnership.

Schools worked with STEM Learning for two years, with support given throughout to ensure the positive impact on teachers, leaders and students was long-term and sustainable.



An independent evaluation of the Aspire to STEM programme was conducted by Skyblue Research Ltd between February to April 2020. This early evaluation concluded that intermediary outcomes have emerged, and found evidence of:

  • Improved subject leadership
  • Enhanced teacher retention
  • Improved quality of teaching
  • Improved student engagement and progress
  • Community events engaged students and families, boosting STEM uptake

Executive summary