The popularity of core STEM subjects is soaring, 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. This means growth in taking STEM subjects is over six times faster for girls.
More girls have A levels in Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Computing than ever before. 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 entry subjects for 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 undertaking the subjects. In both Physics and Chemistry, there has been an increase of 7%.
As the future looks towards Computing and 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.
Those girls that do choose STEM subjects achieve equivalent, or better, A* & A results than boys in all STEM subjects, except Chemistry. 20% of girls taking A level Computing achieved A or A*, compared to 18% of boys.
Core STEM includes: Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Computing, Biology, ICT, Design and Technology and Other Sciences.