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May 9, 2018 / C H Thompson

Gender and achievement

  • Until 1980s the underachievement of girls was the major concern. However since 1990s girls started to outperform boys in all areas of the education system.
  • At GCSE girls tend to do better in the majority of subjects:
  • 63.4% of girls and 53.8% of boys achieved 5+ A*-C GCSEs or equivalent in 2006 – a gender gap of 9.6%
  • largest gender differences (a female advantage of more than 10% on those gaining an A*-C GCSE) are for the Humanities, the Arts and Languages
  • smaller gender differences (a female advantage of 5% or less) tend to be in Science and Maths subjects
  • girls are more likely than boys to gain an A* grade at GCSE
  • boys are a little more likely to gain a G grade at GCSE or to gain no GCSEs at all


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