5,000 more girls take STEM A-levels
WISE is delighted to see that the popularity of core STEM subjects at A level is soaring, especially amongst girls. Computing A-level, for example, was taken by 48% more girls in 2018 than in 2017.
Despite the overall number of A Level entries across all subjects falling, there has been a 4% increase in girls taking STEM subjects, meaning over 5,000 more girls are taking STEM, compared to an increase of only 0.65% for boys.
Helen Wollaston, WISE CEO said
“This trend is really encouraging. We know that there is a huge drop off for girls who take STEM subjects past the age of 16, and we hope today’s results show that is changing.
We want to ensure this trend continues, and our proven People Like Me training encourages girls to think differently about STEM and challenges perceptions.”
WISE are encouraged to see growth in the number of girls taking Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and most notably Computing. The number of girls taking Computing has increased by 48% since 2017, increasing the representation of girls taking Computing to 12%. Both the proportion of girls taking Physics and Further Maths has remained static at 22% and 28% respectively – showing there is still work to be done as these are key subjects for students wishing to pursue further qualifications in engineering and technology.
Similar to 2017, girls are more positively represented in Chemistry, Maths and Design & Technology – representing 53%, 39% and 37% respectively.
In both Maths & Further Maths, there was an increase of 3% in the number of girls taking the subjects. In both Physics and Chemistry, there has been an increase of 7%.
ICT is being phased out, the number of students taking ICT has dropped significantly. This meant 29% fewer girls completed the ICT A Level than in 2017.
It is not through a lack of ability that fewer girls pursue STEM subjects as girls continue to achieve equivalent, or better, A* & A results than boys in all STEM subjects, except Chemistry.
Read the full analysis: Analysis of A Level Core STEM Entrants and Results by Girls
Core STEM includes: Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Computing, ICT, Design and Technology and Other Sciences.