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Science: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL560, tabled on 24 June 2014

To ask Her Majesty's Government what they are doing to increase the number of students studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, in particular female students.

Answered on

9 July 2014

Recent years have seen record numbers of pupils taking science and mathematics at GCSE and A level, with a rise of more than 30% in the number of students taking separate GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics between 2010 and 2013. There has also been a 15% rise in the number taking mathematics and physics A level, and a 19% rise in the number taking further mathematics A level over the same period. Girls are now as likely as boys to take separate science GCSEs, but more needs to be done, particularly to address the low numbers of girls taking mathematics and physics A level.

The Government has taken action by: reforming the national curriculum and academic and vocational qualifications, to ensure that they enable young people to acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding to progress to further study and employment; recruiting top graduates into teaching by providing bursaries and scholarships in mathematics and the sciences of up to £25,000; supporting schools through professional development and enrichment programmes, such as the Stimulating Physics Network and the establishment of 32 maths hubs; and through the “Your Life” campaign which will change the perceptions of science and mathematics, with a communications campaign targeting 14-16 year olds being launched from September.