A-level results: more girls than boys take science for first time

Today’s A-level results show that:

  • For the first time ever more girls than boys have sat science A Levels (biology, chemistry and physics combined). 50.3% of entries were girls and 49.6% were boys.
  • There remains a large gender gap, however, in physics and maths.
  • Fewer than a quarter (22.6%) of those taking physics were girls.

Responding, Young Women’s Trust campaigns and communications director Joe Levenson said: 

“It is fantastic that, for the first time ever, more girls than boys have taken A Level science. We welcome the increase in girls taking science A-levels but sexist stereotypes still shut many out of physics, closing off career paths for girls.

“This year just 23% of those taking physics A-levels this year were girls.

“Funnelling boys down one route and girls down another sustains a skills gap – meaning businesses miss out on much-needed talent – and a lifelong gender pay gap that leaves women struggling to make ends meet.

“We also know that, despite more girls studying science subjects, they are still hugely underrepresented in science industries.

“We’ve made progress but we still need to tackle the barriers women face in accessing work and moving into higher-paid roles. Supporting women into STEM degrees and apprenticeships as a next step after A-levels is also vital.”

Note to editors

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 18 to 30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don’t go to waste.
  2. A-level results tables, broken down by gender, were released on 15 August 2019.
  3. Young Women’s Trust research shows that gender divides in apprenticeships remain stark, with men being far more likely to enter industries like construction, engineering and IT, which give trainees higher pay, more training and better job prospects than women-dominated areas like beauty, care and administration. The charity’s report, Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women, provides recommendations on how to support more women into STEM areas.