Encouraging Girls to Take Mathematics: National Activities

In May 2014, in a speech at Imperial College, the then Education Minister Elizabeth Truss challenged the relatively low take-up of mathematical subjects post-16, in relation to other countries internationally. She announced amendments to the school and college performance tables in which data relating to girls’ and boys’ participation in mathematical and scientific subjects at A level is now to be published annually. The 2014/15 data revealed that, for state school students who had chosen to do A levels, 37.2% of boys chose to do Mathematics, compared to only 18.1% of girls; for Further Mathematics the figures were 7.0% and 1.9% respectively.

Individual school and college data and regional variations for the 2012-13 academic year, 2013-14 academic year and 2014-15 academic year are accessible via the Maths and Science tables on the DfE website.

The disparity in participation rates in mathematics and science post-16 has initiated the Your Life campaign. A growing number of organisations have pledged to take practical steps to ensure more students participate in mathematics, physics, engineering and technological study and enter careers in these fields.