Hundreds of schools failing to enter pupils for science and maths A-levels

The Press Association (via the Guardian) is reporting official figures that show hundreds of schools and colleges in England are failing to enter any pupils for science and maths A-levels…

New data also reveals that the likelihood of a teenager studying one of these key subjects varies depending on where they live, with youngsters in London, along with the East Midlands and south-west England, more likely to take them.

The data has been published by the Department for Education (DfE) for the first time as part of a government bid to encourage young people to take science and maths past the age of 16. It reveals the percentages of students at each school and college who are taking A-levels in these areas, seen as vital by ministers, partly due to increasing demand for workers with science, technology, engineering and maths skills.

An analysis of the figures shows that 79 institutions entered no pupils for maths A-level in 2012-13 and a further 892 entered no pupils for further maths.

No student took biology at 161 schools and colleges while at 217 none took chemistry and at 306 no pupils studied physics at A-level.

A total of 52 institutions did not enter pupils for any of these five subjects at A-level.

The data also shows that boys are more likely to study maths and science A-levels, apart from biology, which is more popular with girls. There is a big gender gap in physics, with about 19.2% of boys studying the subject at A-level compared with 3.6% of girls, while maths A-level is taken by 35.5% of boys and 18.4% of girls…

Education minister Nick Gibb said: “The government is for the first time publishing figures showing the proportion of students studying mathematics and sciences at A-level as part of its drive to encourage a higher take-up, particularly among girls, of these vitally important subjects…

More at: Hundreds of schools failing to enter pupils for science and maths A-levels

I guess this is a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but in those institutions not offering these subjects at A Level, is it because of lack of demand, lack or provision, or something else? Are there ever good reasons for it? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Since A Levels are the choice of the students entirely then can colleges/schools be entirely blamed? Agreed, not healthy tho

  2. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove hooray for IB where maths, science, own language, and additional language are all compulsory aspects

  3. jess_madge

    SchoolsImprove No point in offering Science As if no capability in staff. Or numbers v low. We paired 6th form with a nearby one – result.

  4. SallyHoward3

    Focus on raising the status of science in primary ( it’s MEANT to be a Core subject!) and have enquiry learning g at the front of maths and science then more children entering secondary school will be pro staying with science , even beyond school. Read the Royal Societies Report Vision for science and maths.

  5. LeicesterHigh

    SchoolsImprove Over HALF of our A level entries were maths, further maths, biology, chemistry & physics last year. #girlsschoolsrule

  6. LeicesterHigh

    SchoolsImprove And 44% of those were A*/A. Seriously, if you’re a girl and you love science & maths, you’ll thrive at a girls’ school.

  7. garrodt

    LeicesterHigh:SchoolsImprove Over HALF of our A level entries were maths,further maths, biology,chemistry & physics last year.Brilliant !

  8. CurlyMan66

    LeicesterHigh SchoolsImprove no shortage of maths and science at HollyLodgeLiver and our alumni are going on to get 1st in sci degrees

Let us know what you think...