How can we increase girl's uptake of maths and physics A-level

Document type
Cassidy, Rachel; Cattan, Sarah; Crawford, Claire
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
22 August 2018
Social Policy, Education and Skills, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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There is a striking gender gap in the proportion of pupils pursuing maths and physics to A-level, which has persisted over time. Among students taking A-levels in 2017 – the most recent national data available – 18% of girls compared to 33% of boys took maths A-level, and just 4% of girls compared to 17% of boys took physics A-level. By contrast, the gap is just two percentage points for chemistry - 13% of girls and 15% of boys took chemistry A-level in 2017 – and slightly more girls than boys took A-level biology (19% of girls compared to 14% of boys). This report provides insight into what explains these gender gaps in the likelihood of taking maths and physics A-level.

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