Girls and poorer students are being left behind in computing, research suggests

Despite the government push to promote computing in schools, new research suggests girls and poorer students risk being left behind.

ICT was removed from the national curriculum and replaced with computer science after it was concluded that students weren’t developing the digital skills needed to be successful after school.

However, the the Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report, published by the University of Roehampton, found worryingly low levels of uptake, especially for girls and disadvantaged pupils.

Only 28 per cent of schools entered pupils for computing at GCSE in 2015, with only 24 per cent entering pupils for the subject at A-level.

It found that even lower numbers of girls were entered for the subject, with just 16 per cent of GCSE computing entrants in 2015 being female, and only 8.5 per cent at A-level.

Additionally, pupils on free school meals made up just 19 per cent of GCSE entrants, even though they make up 27 per cent of the population nationally.

The report recommends that schools with low numbers of computing entrants should be given targeted help to support teacher training initiatives and actively promote digital skills to pupils.

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