Increase in ICT GCSE entries
Figures released by the Joint Council for Qualifications on 22 August show that ICT GCSE entries have risen by 25% in 2013 (n.b. this is the old curriculum), to 87,788 candidates sitting the exam this year. This is the first time since the mid-2000s that the number of candidates has increased. However, the proportion of female candidates decreased slightly, from 46% in 2012 to 44% today, highlighting the continuing need to make these subjects appeals to girls.
Girls have also excelled from an achievement perspective: 30.9% of female candidates achieved an A* or A grade, compared with 23% of males. But the cohort as a whole did well, since only 21.3% of all GCSEs receive an A* or A.
But A-levels in Computing still decline…
A-level results released on Thursday 15 August 2013 show that the number of students taking A Level Computing has fallen for the tenth consecutive year. Last year just 3,758 people sat the qualification, a decline of 1.3% on the previous year, and they still account for just 0.4 of all A levels.
Only 6.5% of entrants are female, 1.3 percentage points lower than last year. More encouragingly, more than one in five girls who took the exam achieved an A or A* grade, compared with 15.4% of boys. The picture is similar for ICT A level, which recorded a decline in entries of 6%. 10,419 people sat the exam, which made up 1.2% of all A Levels, and 38% of entrants were female. These declines took place against a background of increasing interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects as a whole. Uptake of STEM subjects at A Level rose 1.9% in 2013, with Chemistry showing the strongest increase at 5.25%.