Girls at Independent Schools perform well in Science – bucking the national trend

Girls in independent girls’ schools perform well in science, in direct contrast to data for the UK as a whole recently published by the OECD.

“There is a proven link between poor performance in science and learning environments that, however unintentionally, promulgate age-old stereotypes about what girls should study and how well they are likely to do,” said Alun Jones, president of the Girls’ Schools Association. “The relative lack of stereotypical expectations and presumptions rooted in gender that girls enjoy in independent girls’ schools means that they not only perform well in science, they choose to continue to study it at A Level.”

Girls at Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) schools achieve a disproportionately large share of the top grades in sciences, maths and languages. Compared to all girls nationally, they are 75% more likely to take maths A-level, 70% more likely to take chemistry and two and a half times as likely to take physics.

Bucking national trends, over 55% of girls at GSA schools take a STEM subject at A-level. Just under two fifths take maths and just over two fifths take at least one science, with a quarter of girls taking at least one language A-level.

  • In physics, 13.4% of all entries from girls come from GSA schools, (above the 5.2% baseline), but they are awarded 25.9% of the A*s and 20.5% of the A or A* grades.
  • In chemistry, girls at GSA schools comprise 8.9% of entries, but they are awarded 19.8% of the A* s and 15.4% of A or A* grades.
  • In further maths, girls at GSA schools comprise 15.9% of the entries, but they are awarded 24.7% of the A* grades and 20.1% of the A or A*s.
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