A gender gap in most science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects at A level means that a number of skilled young women are “being lost to the economy”, according to a new official report.
Some of the Department for Education’s success – such as the 2.6 per cent rise in Stem take-up at A level – “masks some ongoing problems”, the government's spending watchdog warned today.
The National Audit Office (NAO) report highlights the fact that females made up only 42 per cent of all Stem A-level entries last year - and females regularly outperform their male peers in many Stem subjects.
Female A-level students made up only 9.4 per cent of entries in computing, 21.2 per cent in physics and 39 per cent in mathematics last year.
“This participation gap shows that young women represent a pool of potential Stem-skilled people that is currently being lost to the economy,” the report says.