What has happened to the qualifications levels of secondary school students in relation to gender over the last 30 years?.
The qualitative data in the table below can be linked to the issue of changes in qualifications levels in relation to gender. These statistics can be obtained from the Education Statistics for the UK 1980-1984 by Her Majesty's Stationary Office, and from the DFEE Statistics of Education Public Examination GCSE/GNVQ and GCE/AGNVQ in England 1999, also from the Stationary Office. These primary figures, which highlight the relationship between gender and changes in qualifications levels, are the GCE O-level results from the academic year 1979-80 and the GCSE results from the academic year 1998-99. The results from both years focus upon the number of students achieving A to C grades in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Sciences.
Girls Boys .
Year 1979-80 1998-99 1979-80 1998-99.
Subject No. Of A-C grades No. Of A-C grades No. Of A-C grades No. Of A-C grades.
English 70,520 176,674 52,480 132,780.
English Literature Not Applicable 166,430 Not Applicable 123,738.
Mathematics 32,240 134,118 38,440 134,754.
Biology 11,970 14,405 7,980 20,153.
Chemistry 4770 13,626 7,420 20,049.
Physics 4,025 12,749 11,500 20,517.
Single Award Science Not Applicable 5,263 Not Applicable 37,621.
Dual Award Science Not Applicable 113,825 Not Applicable 105,990.
Sciences Total 20,765 132,714 26,900 129,952.
Analysis of the changing trends in the academic achievements in relation to gender.
This sample of qualitative data supports the idea that in British contemporary society girls are now achieving better exam results than boys in English, Mathematics and Sciences. In previous decades the pattern showed that boys had achieved better results than girls in their educational studies, however, in more recent times, for example from the late 1990s onwards the educational statistics illustrate that girls have caught up with boys.