Encouraging Girls to Take Mathematics: FMSP Activities


In Spring 2016, the FMSP published Girls' Participation in A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, a briefing document for school leaders, heads of mathematics departments, school governors and other interested stakeholders. It summarises:

  • the national strategies in place to promote the study of mathematics post-16;
  • the DfE’s recently published 2014/15 participation data for boys and girls in A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics;
  • the findings of the FMSP’s Gender Literature Review, carried out on behalf of the FMSP by colleagues at the UCL Institute of Education (IoE);
  • strategies that senior leaders and heads of mathematics departments could employ to promote greater gender balance in participation in A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

A more detailed summary of the recommendations arising from the FMSP literature review outlines a range of practical strategies that schools can employ to promote gender balance in the study of mathematics post-16. You can also read more about the wider research carried out by the UCL IOE in conjunction with the FMSP.

Commencing in the autumn term 2014, the UCL IOE conducted five case studies on behalf of the FMSP, to identify and disseminate good practice in schools and colleges where gender participation is more balanced. The final report Gender Case Studies summarises the findings of this research. Case study posters for Beauchamp College, The Manchester College and Shenley Brook End Academy provide useful summaries of some of the key findings.

Also, look out for events in your area that aim to promote post-16 participation in mathematics generally, and especially to girls. For example, in February 2015 the Royal Institution and the FMSP held a Celebrating Women in Mathematics event, which was attended by 300 students (both male and female) from schools across London. The range of fantastic speakers included Naomi Ball (British Airways), Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Helen Wilson (UCL) and special surprise guest Rachel Riley.