Gender gap at A-level is a myth;Postscript;Letter

27th August 1999 at 01:00
YOU reported that girls have overtaken boys at A-level for the first time, and that the gender gap which opens up at age seven is wider than ever (TES, August 6). Both claims are incorrect.

Analysing A-level results for all subjects over the past six years shows that, adjusting for differences in entry rates, the performance of boys and girls is basically the same.

The largest recent "gap" in favour of girls was in 1995 (and that was only 2 per cent), but by 1996 the gap was zero again. In none of the six years did boys ever gain significantly better results than girls. There goes the first component of the TES crisis story.

Using the figures in The TES, the gap between boys and girls is actually declining as the percentage point difference between them is growing slower than the overall annual increase in exam scores. There goes the second component of the TES crisis story.

Stephen Gorard

School of Social Sciences

Cardiff University YOUR leader "Time for acclaim" (TES, August 20) rightly cites the growing expectations of parents as a reason for improving A-Level results. Parents are better informed about the demands and content of courses and are therefore in a stronger position to help their offspring. This alone could explain a great deal of the trend.

Dr Roger Hancock

School of education, The Open University, Milton Keynes

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now