STEM Subjects: Females

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Ben Howlett Ben Howlett Conservative, Bath

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of statutory PHSE on the uptake of STEM subjects by girls.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

Through the introduction to the national curriculum, the Government has made clear that all schools should make provision for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). PSHE is, however, a non-statutory subject.

The Government is determined to increase the number of young people studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, particularly girls. There have been 12,000 more A Level entries in STEM subjects for girls over the last five years.

PSHE plays an important part in preparing young people for the world of work including dispelling gender stereotyping. Resources to support PSHE include those produced by Siemens in collaboration with the PSHE Association. These resourced explore equality and the world of work which aim to inspire the next generation of female scientists, technicians and engineers.

We are also supporting schools in other ways to tackle this issue through professional development and enrichment activities, including the Stimulating Physics Network, and the inspiring “Your Life” campaign, which will transform perceptions of science and mathematics.

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