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Wales - Girls switched on to ICT

An independent secondary school has dramatically boosted the number of girls studying information communications technology at GCSE - up by almost 15 times in just a year.

Staff at Cardiff's Cathedral School were concerned that girls were not interested in ICT and regarded it as a "boys' subject". Last year, just 6 per cent of girls studied the subject at GCSE, an all-time low, but the proportion has now soared to 89 per cent.

Nic Patterson, the school's head of ICT, said he was so alarmed by the decline last year that he turned to local businesses for help and advice.

He said: "We needed to show pupils how important ICT is to their future working lives. We wanted to dispel the myth that it is a difficult subject and show how vital computer skills are for popular jobs."

Local technology and public relations companies organised seminars with pupils about the importance of the subject and the school held a careers fair highlighting the potential job opportunities arising for those with skills in the subject.

"It worked a treat and the change was immediate," Mr Patterson said. de.

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