EDI criteria (2020/21 academic year)

Our EDI vision is that young people from all groups are proportionately present in and well prepared for engineering pathways at the age of 19 years. To achieve this, we have an ambition to ensure more diverse young people effectively engage with STEM engagement activities, to inform and inspire them to pursue a career in engineering.


We know that there are certain groups who are under-represented in the engineering workforce, so we have developed a set of criteria to identify schools who are likely to reach more of these under-represented young people. We would like to involve more and more of these schools in our programmes and we are also fortunate to have received funding to provide extra bursary support to such schools to participate in STEM engagement.


Groups we are particularly targeting include:

  • those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds
  • young people who identify as female
  • young people from ethnic minority groups
  • young people with SEN / Disabilities
  • young people in a range of localities including rural areas.


Only secondary schools are included in the EDI criteria for the year 2020/21, but it is envisaged that in future years we may develop similar measures for primary schools.


We consider a school to meet our EDI criteria if they are:

  • Equal to or above national average in both Free School Meals (FSM) and proportion of ethnic minority students (middle column)


  • Equal to or above one of the ‘significantly above average’ criteria (right hand column)
  National average (median) Significantly above average
England   (Top 30% FSM1, Top 25% ethnic minority students) 
Free School Meal eligibility* ≥ 15.4%  ≥ 21.7% 
Ethnic minority students  20.8%  ≥ 50.1% 
SEND students - SEN schools/PRU
Rural location - Rural settlement (less than 10,000 people), sparse area
Wales   (Top 25% FSM, Top 25% ethnic minority students) 
Free School Meal eligibility*  ≥ 15.8%  ≥ 24.3% 
Ethnic minority students ≥ 6.7%  ≥ 13.6% 
SEND students - SEN schools/PRU
Rural location - Data unavailable
Scotland   (Top 25% FSM, Top 25% ethnic minority students) 
Free School Meal eligibility*   13.6%  ≥ 19.7% 
Ethnic minority students  4.3%  ≥ 9.5% 
SEND students - SEN schools/PRU
Rural location - Settlement of less than 10,000 people with a drive time of over 30 mins to a settlement of over 10,000 people
Northern Ireland   (Top 40% FSM, no ethnicity data available) 
Free School Meal eligibility*  - ≥ 36.6% 
SEND students - SEN schools/PRU
Rural location - Data unavailable

Low school attendance due to COVID-19 

Schools for whom attendance is below 75% in Autumn Term 2020 will meet the EDI criteria. This is to include schools whose students’ attendance in education has been most impacted by COVID 19.  Data on this is not currently publicly available and schools should therefore highlight themselves if they meet these criteria.  


Additional notes and data sources

We will use the 2019/20 data for schools to assess whether they meet our EDI criteria.

For reference, between 40% and 58% of schools in the UK meet the EDI criteria (this varies by country).

The following data sources can be used to see your school’s data on free school meal and ethnic minority students: