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COMPUTING & IT RESOURCES


Howdistance learning is bridging the gender gap in STEMsubj


bjects


Fromgendered depictions of scientific careers to a lack of female representation at top-tier level for engineering roles, theworld of STEMcan still seemto be a boys’ club fromthe outside looking in. However, stats are suggesting that a seismic shiftmay be on itsway,with results showing for the first time ever thatmorewomen thanmen have studied sciences for A-Levels. Determined to push this furt


rther and keep the ball


rolling, top distance learning provider,Oxbridge, is leading the charge forwomen studyingmaths, revealing figures significantly higher than the national average.


Despite female students outperforming their male counterparts for the top grades, analysis has shown that the percentage of maths A-Levels being awarded to women has declined year-on-year. On the contrary to this, Oxbridge has seen significantly more female students enrol on its maths courses for the previous three years, with 60%of women compared to the national average of 39%in 2017.


Looking at why this might be,Matt Jones, Director of Oxbridge comments: “Social pressures like male dominance and low confidence are responsible for female students opting for alternative courses or learning options. The gender gap in maths isn’t because women don’t find it interesting…instead, a major factor is confidence.We’ve found that women view STEMsubj


account of feeling like they won’t be welcomed, supported, or given the same opportunities.”


A recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies argues that confidence seems to be a huge barrier to women and girls looking to pursue maths further. The worry of being the ‘only girl in the class’ is an important determinant of gender differences in attainment in STEMsubjects and the decision to pursue STEMcareers.


“As a result, the education sector is seeing a surge in women opting to study STEMsub


offer the flexibility to study in a comfortable environment and set your own pace.We have seen a rise in women studying STEMsubj three years, and we think the trend is set to continue for us. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the sector needs to work together to change the perception that STEMsubjbjects are intimidating.We need to give women access to role models, secure environments and work to abolish the feeling of inferiority; this is how we continue to bridge the gender gap,”Matt continues. He adds “There is a growing range of campaigns and proj


ojects designed to ignite passion for STEMamong girls and young women. In the UK, the


benefits of this drive to attract more women into these subjects are being felt but is important to remember that women from disadvantaged backgrounds, women of colour, and women who lack academic certification are still hugely underrepresented in the STEMfield. The STEMeducation sector needs to think more creatively in order to be inclusive to all women; there is still a lot of work to be done.”


bjjects with distance learning providers like Oxbridge, because we bjects over the last


bjects as male-dominated classes, and as such they are reluctant to enrol in classes, on


ICT for Education announces 2020 regional conference schedule


solutions to improve education provision in our schools. It also acknowledges limited budgets, pressures on teachers, and the need to improve e- safety across education.”


ICT for Education’s 2020 regional events will be


hosted in Brighton (Friday 13thMarch); Sheffield (Friday 1stMay); Norwich (Friday 12th June); Newcastle (Friday 18th September);Manchester (Friday 9th October); and Nottingham (Friday 20th November).


To find outmore about ICT for Education and register fo Visit: ictfo


fo foreducation.co.uk


Tel: 01983 812305 fo


I


CT for Education has announced its 2020 schedule of conferences, which remain free of charge for delegates. This year, conferences will be hosted in six regions, offering primary and secondary teachers, senior leadership teams, school administrators, technology leaders and network managers


opportunities to discover innovative technology solutions, adopt best practice implementation, and network with peers facing challenges around budgets, time and skills.


Conference speakers include practitioners working in the classroom, academic and industry experts, and local organisations dedicated to helping schools and sixth-form colleges advance provision and student take-up of


Exhibitions run alongside ICT for Education conferences, offering access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.


teaching and learning, as well as whole school use of technology. Some a wide range of products and services designed to inspire and advance


Sarah Underwood, editorial director at ICT for Education, says: “This year’s products and services will be reviewed live in the conference room.


conference and exhibition schedule recognises the criticality of technology 38 www.education-today.co.uk March 2020 Email: info@ictforeducation.co.uk for 2020 events:


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