There has been a rise in students choosing IT as a GCSE subject compared with last year, although the 2013 results highlight that almost 90 percent of students are still not choosing technology as a subject at this level.
The number of students taking ICT GCSE has jumped by 38 percent since last year, from 53,197 in 2012 to 73,487 this summer. This is a much bigger rise than from 2011 to 2012, when figures rose from 47,128 to 53,197.
However, this year's total is still only 1.3 percent of the total number of exams sat, showing IT skills initiatives have a long path ahead to encourage uptake of technology subjects at school. Of the 673,155 16-year olds taking GCSEs this summer, 10.9 percent chose ICT; Drama, Spanish and Business Studies all managed to attract more students.
Technology is still more popular with male students over females, with 58 percent of IT GCSEs taken by males. However, females were awarded the highest grades, with 9.1 percent getting an A*, compared with 5.9 percent of males. On a positive note, IT GCSE bucks the trend for high achievers, with those getting an A* slightly up on 2012 by 0.1 percent.
Overall GCSE results saw a dip in those achieving top marks. Of the 5.45 million exams sat, 6.8 percent of these were awarded an A*, down from 7.3 percent in 2012, while 68.1 percent were graded A–C, compared with 69.4 percent last year.
Last week's A-level results highlighted similar issues for the IT sector, with only
10,419 students taking an ICT exam this summer, 669 fewer than in 2012. Of those just 2.2 percent managed to achieve an A* grade, slightly down on last year's results.
The more technical A-level Computing curriculum also showed a slight drop in numbers, down to 3,758 sitting the exam.
V3 is running a Make IT Better campaign to improve the teaching of IT in schools, and to help tackle the skills shortage.
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