New partnership to boost STEM teaching support


A new partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and technology giant Wipro Limited will provide greater support to newly qualified teachers and mid-career staff in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The programme, funded via a Wipro donation, will include the Wipro Teacher Fellowship and Wipro Teacher Mentor programmes at Sheffield Hallam’s Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE).

These will be designed to support newly qualified teachers in STEM subjects from schools across Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Derbyshire.

The 18-month programmes will kick-start in January and will provide teachers with an opportunity to enhance their practices, boost their subject knowledge and have access to individual mentors for support.

By utilising the teaching experience available at the SIoE, the programme will use online teaching and face-to-face meetings to develop STEM teaching staff into effective mentors. Under current plans, around 20 early career teachers and between five and ten teacher mentors will join the initiative.

Anurag Behar, Wipro Limited’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said the business is committed to enhancing education, before adding that “teachers are the cornerstone” of a good system.

“These partnerships will provide directly relevant professional development support to teachers,” he explained. “Empowering, enabling and supporting teachers is the key to achieving continuous improvement in education.”

Dr Emily Perry, from SIoE’s Centre for Development and Research in Education, will lead the new programme, which forms a part of the university’s social mobility programme known as South Yorkshire Futures.

“The Wipro Teacher Fellow and Teacher Mentor Programmes aim to increase young people’s enjoyment, attainment and progression in STEM subjects by supporting teachers to develop their practice in an innovative, evidence-based, collaborative programme of professional learning,” she added.

Those taking part will also be able to work towards accreditation for MA level credits by taking an optional module in Research and Development in Educational Contexts – part of Sheffield Hallam University’s MA Professional Practice in Education.

Wipro has also unveiled plans to partner with King’s College London to support the development of an MA in STEM Education – a UK first.

The technology company has said it will work alongside the university to create a suitable curriculum for the STEM education course.