Boys close the gap on girls in key subjects

 

Boys have dramatically closed the performance gap between them and girls as a result of knuckling down to exams because of the recession, yesterday's A-level results show.

Exam boards officers said they had heeded calls to study subjects like maths and science to get ahead in the search for for jobs.

Figures show that girls are at level-pegging in the percentage of A* grades they have notched up – with 8.2 per cent being awarded the top grade pass. Last year girls were 0.4 per ahead of boys.

Andrew Hall, chief executive of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, the country's biggest exam board, said boys had "recognised the challenge of A* grades" as a growing number of universities insisted on all candidates having at least one top grade pass.

Ziggy Liaquat, chief executive of Edexcel, added the boys' improvement was part and parcel of the rise in take-up of so called STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths - subjects crucial for the future of the economy).

"They're beginning to see that the global economy is crying out for people who have skills in science, engineering and maths," he said.

He added that the rise in take-up could also be down to the "Brian Cox effect" as a result of the popular TV programmes the University of Manchester physicist had hosted on science. The candidates who sat exams this year were those who chose their subject options at the start of the recession three years ago.

Figures show take-up of maths was up 7.4 per cent, with biology, chemistry and physics seeing rises of 7.2 per cent, 9.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.

The gap in performance between boys and girls at grade A in these subjects had reduced from 0.9 per cent to 0.3 per cent. At grade E it had narrowed from 0.9 per cent to 0.7 per cent.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "It is very welcome news that more students are studying the sciences and maths at A level.

"These are the subjects that universities and employers are demanding, so that they can compete internationally."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: DT/Design and Technology Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school in Cambridgesh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Daily, short and long term Supply Teachers urgently required.

£115 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Supply teachers required throughou...

Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate - Newly Qualified Teachers Required For Sept 2015

£21000 - £50000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate Teachers/ Newly Qua...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks