- Published: 13/02/2019
After GCSE, 20% fewer girls than boys continue studying maths. This limits their access to some of the more challenging, interesting and lucrative careers. But why? In this podcast episode we speak with Rachel Beddoes, Girls’ Participation Coordinator of the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP). She explains what the barriers are for girls, and what teachers and schools can do to overcome these. She also gives details of events and bespoke support available from the AMSP and other organisations. There are links below for more details of these.
Taking part in the discussion are:
- Rachel Beddoes, Girls’ Participation Coordinatior, AMSP
- Gwen Tresidder, Communications Manager, NCETM
- 00:57 – The creation of the AMSP
- 02:34 – Rachel’s (maths) life story
- 04:34 – Why is a Girls Participation Officer needed?
- 07:34 – Why are fewer girls doing advanced maths than boys?
- 11:33 – What is AMSP doing about it?
- 13:50 – How could teachers address these barriers?
- 15:30 – Core Maths and girls
- 19:33 – What can teachers do?
- 22:01 – What are Stemettes?
- 24:11 – What can 11-16 schools do?
- 26:13 – The role of female maths teachers
- 28:51 – Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)
- 31:33 – Whole school strategies
Links for research and initiatives mentioned in the interview:
- FMSP/UCL research: Gender and Participation in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, March 2017, referred to by Rachel and NCETM summary article
- Institute of Fiscal Studies report: How can we increase girls’ uptake of maths and physics A level, August 2018
- DfE research published Feb 2019: Attitudes towards STEM subjects by gender at KS4 looking at girls’ enjoyment of and confidence in studying STEM subjects as well as beliefs about job prospects, earning potential and future plans (published shortly after the interview was recorded)
- Advanced Maths Support Programme (AMSP) website, in particular, these pages:
- Supporting students’ transition to advanced maths, specifically the section at the bottom of the page, with ideas and resources to encourage girls to consider taking maths
- Girls’ participation self-audit for schools: a list of ideas – how many is your school doing?
- Local support
- Stemettes: a social enterprise working to inspire and support young women into STEM careers
- WISE (Women in Science, Engineering and Maths) campaigns: People like me and My skills, my life
- Equals: inspiring and empowering girls to use maths to pursue exciting careers in STEM (Items for students, teachers and parents on the website).