Technology A-levels are continuing their decline in popularity, with both the Computing and ICT exams falling in numbers.
The most popular of the two courses is the ICT exam, which was sat by 11,088 students this year, an almost 10 percent decline with 872 fewer exams sat compared to 2011 when 11,960 ICT A-levels were taken. Between 2010 and 2011 there was a much smaller drop, down 226 ICT exams from 12,186 in 2010.
There has been very little shift in the grades awarded for ICT, so standards among those sitting the exam are not dropping off or improving markedly.
However, while more female students opted for an ICT A-level in 2011 – admittedly only about 30 more – the number this year fell by almost 400, indicating that any work that has been done to attract more females to IT subjects might not be having a long-term effect.
For the more technical Computing A-Level, there was a smaller decline of around five percent, from 4,002 A-levels in 2011 to 3,809 this year. However, female students are not noticeably dropping off from this A-level, with 297 taking the exam this year compared to 302 in 2011.
The numbers do not make great reading for those running UK technology businesses, as there has been pressure from government and within the industry to make IT teaching more attractive within schools to develop the next generation of tech whizz kids.
Overall, there has been a slight decline in the number of A-levels sat, down from 867,317 to 861,819 year on year across the UK. The most striking statistic from this year's crop of results is that the overall number of top A and A* grades awarded has dropped for the first time in more than 20 years.
Also, what's a USB stick?
Gravitational waves become extremely weak by the time they reach the Earth and require highly sensitive equipment for detection
The reactor topped out at 100 million° C
Cosmic event will not cause any disruption on Earth, say scientists