Royal Society comments on A Level results 2016

18 August 2016

Commenting on the A level results released today, Professor Tom McLeish FRS, Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee said:

“The Royal Society congratulates the pupils and teachers whose hard work is reflected in today’s results. We are pleased to see, for the second year running, an increase in young people studying A Level Computing (16.0% increase in A Level entries, the largest in any subject). Computing offers creative and digital skills, crucial to work and leisure in our digital world. However, there remains a large difference in the numbers of girls and boys taking this subject, with over 90% of Computing A Levels still being taken by boys. This is a gap which we must continue to challenge. With Google and Microsoft, the Royal Society has started a project which will help equip schools to tackle this gender imbalance in the classroom and inspire girls to take up computing.

“It is also welcome news that Mathematics continues to be the most popular A level (11.0% of total entries) and, for the first time, approximately 3,000 students from about 200 Early Adopter schools and colleges sat new Core Maths examinations in May 2016. We hope that A Level Mathematics and the new qualification, Core Maths, will continue to be popular choices. Mathematics provides students with problem-solving skills that open doors in a huge variety of careers and, as called for in the Royal Society’s Vision report, we want to see Mathematics to 18 for all becoming the standard across the UK.

“The Extended Project qualification, which gives students the opportunity to get to grips with real, self-motivated and creative research, continues to grow in popularity. We’d like to see more students seizing this opportunity to undertake experimental scientific research projects – creative experimentation is right at the heart of science and science is best learnt by combining listening and reading with doing.

“Physics, Chemistry and Biology remain popular but we would like to see even more students take these inspiring subjects.”