Examiners warn that gender stereotyping at A-level is creating divisions
Examiners have warned that the A-level results released yesterday show an increase in levels of “gender stereotyping” in pupils’ choices of subjects in many classrooms across the country.
According to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a body that represents the exam board in the UK, there is a huge gender difference in pupils’ choices in subject, with officials saying that the gap has grown this year.
The figures suggest that, for the second year in a row, boys have outperformed girls in A* grades. This year there is a 0.6% difference in each gender achieving the top grade, with 8% of boys attaining an A* compared to 7.4% of girls, whereas last year there was a 0.8% difference between the sexes.
According to the numbers, three quarters of psychology exams and seven in ten English A-levels were sat by girls, while four in every five entries for physics and 60.7% of maths exams were sat by boys this year.
Biology was the only science subject dominated by girls, with students taking 57.8% of papers, up 3.6% in 12 months.
Worried about the widening gender gap, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Brian Lightman, said: “We need, as teachers to try and raise awareness of these stereotypical views that occur. But, it’s a societal thing as well; in wider society we need to try and break those stereotypical models. We need to show role models of people who are doing different things.”
Chris Keates, general secretary of teachers’ union NASUWT, expressed her concerns about the increasing gender divide. She said: “This is an issue that the government cannot ignore as it could have serious ramifications for the future education and employment options of boys and girls.”