BBC News State schools enhancing gender stereotypes

….this morning. Now almost half of the mixed state-funded schools in England are reinforcing gender stereotypes when it comes to students choice of A-levels according to a study from the Institute of physics. The science charity found not enough was being done to challenge the idea that certain subjects were for girls and others were for boys. It’s warning prevents young people from discovering their potential. All the students in this physics class are absorbed by their experiments but when it comes to choosing the subject of A-level something puts many girls off. There are gender stereotypes associated with certain subjects so for example many more girls and boys choose English and psychology A-level whereas many more boys choose maths and physics. And according to this report many mixed schools in England are reinforcing these stereotypes. In England just one girl for every four boys takes physics at A-level and this research found that in half the countries mixed state schools the proportion of girls taking the subject was even lower. It means that that gender bias is getting worse and that’s happening for several different subjects. It’s putting out barriers to students choosing certain a-levels which mean that they feel that some subjects are not appropriate to them whether that whether they’re girls or boys and we want students to be able to choose from the whole range of subjects. Here at Cheyney school in Oxford teachers particularly encourage girls interesting physics and maths and boys with an aptitude for subjects that are generally more popular with girls and this has beaten the trend. The hope now is that more schools will help to stop students turning away from subjects simply because they don’t see them as suited to their sex. Victoria Gill BBC news