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Fall in GCSE engineering top grades

talent skills

This year’s GCSE results have revealed a fall in the number of top grades in engineering.

Although the number of students taking GCSEs in engineering rose by 11.7% compared to last year, the number of students achieving an A or A* in the subject fell from 6.4% in 2015 to 6.1%.

As for the very top grades, the number of students achieving an A* in engineering was 0.9% – a fall from 1.2% last year.

The engineering A* results are among the lowest percentage of all GCSE A* grades by subject in 2016.

STEM subjects revealed the biggest decline in top grades since 2011 despite a 6.4% increase in the number of 16 year olds taking GCSEs in these subjects this year.

The results also revealed a gender imbalance in candidates, with engineering and construction among the three most male-dominated subjects. Females made up just 8.2% of engineering candidates, while the figure was 4.6% in construction.

“STEM careers are vital to the UK economy, so it is important to create a healthy pipeline of skills and talent through today’s education system,” said Aecom chief executive Richard Robinson.

“Post-GCSE, girls turn away from STEM subjects at a much higher rate than boys, so this gender imbalance also needs to be addressed.

“The engineering industry is making great strides in diversity but the problem must be tackled at the source.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Your headline is incorrect, assuming "top grades" is referencing A + A*. If there's been an 11.7% increase in students, then the total number of students receiving the A + A* grades has increased even with the drop in the proportion of students who received those grades. The number of those who received an A has increased, while the number who received an A* has decreased.

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