Updated: Further decline in numbers taking technology A-levels

This year's A-Level statistics have revealed further falls in the number of students taking technology A-level subjects.

Share

This year's A-Level statistics have revealed further falls in the number of students taking technology A-level subjects.

The number of students taking computing fell 10% from 6,233 in 2006 to 5,610 this time around, reflecting a continuing trend for students to choose arts over technology and scientific subjects.

This decline follows and even steeper fall last year of 14% – meaning that in two years number have slumped by 22%.

At the same time, the number taking an ICT A-level dropped by a less dramatic 6% from 14,208 in 2006 to 13,360 this year.

But mathematics continued its upward trends with an increase in entries of 7.3%, while entries for further maths were up 8.3%.

Schools minister Jim Knights pointed out the increases meant there had been a 14% pick-up in maths numbers since 2004.

"We recognise [maths students'] crucial importance to the UK economy and want to accelerate this trend over the coming years," said Knight.

Knight also said that vital reforms that would transform 14–19 education were around the corner.

"New Diplomas will combine theoretical and applied learning, including functional ICT," he said.

Last year plans for a dedicated business and IT Diploma were announced by the government. It is expected to be offered from 2008.

The Diploma is the first schools qualification to be designed by employers and aims to make IT more exciting, according to Karen Price, chair of the sector skills council E-Skills UK.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs