Minister urges society to dispel misconceptions of girls in STEM

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School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has urged teachers, parents and society to challenge and dispel misconceptions some girls have about Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

New data published by the Department of Education reveals school girls in England are considerably less likely than boys to consider taking STEM subjects at A Level.

Whilst the number of girls in STEM A Levels has risen by 26% since 2010, the research highlights 15-year-old boys are more likely than girls to see STEM subjects as being useful when it comes to getting a job.

Speaking on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “There is growing demand for STEM skills, particularly for sectors such as engineering, construction and manufacturing, and it’s essential that gender is no barrier to ensuring that all young people have the knowledge and skills to succeed in our outward looking and dynamic economy.

“We’ve made considerable progress in increasing girls’ participation in STEM subjects since 2010, with the proportion of girls taking STEM A Levels increasing by a quarter, and 25% more women accepted onto full-time STEM undergraduate courses.

“We are determined to continue this trend, and that’s why we are funding programmes to increase the take up of maths, computing and physics, and have reformed the school curriculum to make sure it meets the needs of employers.

“This research, however, shows that certain misconceptions are still prevalent, and we all have a part to play, including parents and teachers, to dispel misconceptions about STEM subjects and help encourage our scientists of future generations.”

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