EVEN though the link between education, engineering and the economy is well understood ahead of this year’s exam season – A-Level results will be published next Thursday – the Government deserves no better than a grade E for its efforts.
Not only are insufficient pupils studying so-called STEM subjects to meet the nation’s future requirements, but boys are still almost four times as likely to study physics at A-Level than girls, according to new statistics.
This suggests current attempts to reduce the gender bias, and make such courses more attractive to female students, are simply not working. Why is this? Is it the quality of teaching that is putting pupils off, the actual syllabus or insufficient awareness about the career opportunities that do exist?
It is a conundrum that Ministers need to answer if they, too, are make the grade when it comes to formulating policies that actually meet the nation’s skills requirements.