Declining numbers of girls studying computing

The number of girls studying computing has almost halved, according to an analysis of education figures by the Scottish Labour Party.

In the period between 2007 and 2015 the number of girls studying the subject has fallen by 45 per cent.

Based on Scottish Qualifications Authority data, the party established there were 1,011 girls studying higher computing in 2007 compared to 560 in 2015.

‘Huge drops’ in number of girls studying STEM subjects

Similar falls were recorded across the ‘STEM’-group subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths), with falling numbers of girls studying biology, physics and  chemistry.

Scottish Labour Education Spokesperson Iain Gray said: “The single most important economic investment we can make is in education, and we need to make sure more pupils are studying the key subjects to give them the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

“The SQA’s own information shows huge drops in the number of young women studying key subjects since the SNP first came to power in 2007. Scotland faces a skills gap of 10,000 digital jobs over the next decade. Filling in that gap will mean a huge windfall for our economy, but missing out will mean Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK.

Cuts will harm education, says Labour

“The SNP Government should be doing more to encourage young women into subjects like computing and the sciences, but that will be made all the more difficult by hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts to schools and local services in the SNP budget.”

Labour said that science and computing subjects would be vital for developing a workforce with the skills needed to compete for the jobs of the future, and said the SNP’s plans to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from schools and local services will harm education across Scotland.

The figures come after a week where stats on numeracy were published, showing the gap between the richest and the poorest children increasing and performance falling in every category.

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