Girls achieve more top A-level grades than boys
Girls have outperformed boys and achieved more top grades at A-level, national figures show.
Girls narrowly took the lead in terms of As and A*s, with 25.5% of entries achieving top grades compared with 25.4% of boys, according to data published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
However, boys still outperformed girls in the highest result, with 8.2% of grades awarded at an A* compared with 7.5% for their female classmates.
The figures come in the first year that there were more entries for science subjects from girls than boys.
For biology, chemistry and physics A-levels, there were 84,111 entries from girls, compared with 83,133 from boys.
However, boys are still much more likely to take physics than their female classmates, with 30,159 entries compared with 8,799.
Despite the increased female uptake, there is “no room for complacency” when it comes to female engagement in science, according to one physicist.
Professor Tom McLeish, chair of the Royal Society education committee, said: “While the gender gap in physics is moving in the right direction, the society recognises that there is a very long way to go.
“We need to work harder on all fronts.
“We need to identify and disseminate the examples of good practice, especially in schools, where the gender balance is considerably better than the national average.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), called today’s results “a great news story for girls”.
He said: “Part of this is cultural within schools, it would be nice to think that socially we won’t be talking about exams in gender terms as we have in the past.
“A few messages today have upended the stereotypes, and that is one of them.”