No Girls Studying Physics A-Levels In Half of State Schools: According to new figures released today in a study provided by the Institute of Public Policy Research, there are hundreds of state funded co-educational schools which do not have a single girl studying physics within their sixth form. Statistics suggest that last year only one in five physics entries for A-levels were by a female student – despite the fact that more than 70,000 girls achieved an A*- C grade GCSE in physics.
This piece of research comes in the light of a number of similar findings which suggest female participation in the STEM (science, technology, mathematics) subjects is limited – leading to under-representation within the sector. The shortfall could lead to a chronic need for engineers – it is claimed around a quarter of a million engineers will need to be recruited by the end of the decade.
Currently, the UK is at the bottom of the European table in terms of women working in engineering – with only 7% of the sector being female. This is compared to almost one in three in Latvia and around a quarter in Sweden.
The research by IPPR suggests the UK requires 87,000 graduates per year with a knowledge of engineering in order to fill all the job roles available. Currently, the figure stands at around 46,000.
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