The Gender Gap in A-Level Choices and Beyond

The Gender Gap in A-Level Choices and Beyond
August 15, 2016
Marilyn Brydges

At Notebook Tutors we recently came across this report on take-up of subjects at A-level. The report focuses in particular on the ‘gender gap’ in A-level choices: the proportions of boys and girls studying each subject.

The report makes for an interesting read, and some of the statistics are particularly stark. For example, in the academic year 2013/14, 22.2% of all of the girls studying A-levels did one A-level in English; but only 8.4% of boys studied English. At the other end of the scale are subjects like Physics: while 10.4% of boys studied Physics, only 3.2% of girls did, meaning that for every three girls studying Physics, there were ten boys.

This of course then has a knock-on effect on university courses and career choices for the rest of the students’ lives. Women are hugely under-represented in science- and technology-based careers such as IT, engineering, scientific research, and teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects; while men are under-represented in professions like teaching humanities subjects and teaching all subjects at primary level, the civil service, nursing, librarians, and so on.

At Notebook Tutors we love supporting our students to achieve highly in a variety of subjects from a young age. This keeps their options open, so that they have a wide selection of subjects to choose from when deciding what to study at GCSE and then at A-level; ultimately, of course, this also gives them more flexibility as to what to study at university, and more control over their career path. If your child needs some assistance to keep their grades high and their options open, why not contact us today?