Nick Gibb speaks at the Researchers in Schools celebration event, 25 August 2015.
What follows are paragraphs from the text containing the words maths or mathematics.
The Researchers in Schools programme prioritises recruiting teachers in STEM subjects, in particular mathematics and physics. Nobody needs reminding that British employers face ongoing skills shortages in these areas.
One in 10 state schools have no pupils progressing to either further maths or physics at A level, and 1 in 3 physics teachers have themselves not studied the subject beyond A level.
This lack of take-up in the maths and sciences is particularly acute amongst female pupils. Whilst nearly half of boys who gained an A* grade at physics GCSE in 2011 went on to study the subject at A level, only around a fifth of girls did so.
However, before I begin to sound too gloomy, there are significant reasons to be cheerful. One of the achievements of the previous government of which I am most proud of is this: there were 38,000 more entries for science and maths A levels in 2015 compared with 2010 – a 17% increase.
Due to the government’s focus on STEM subjects, there has been a 17% jump in entries for physics A level since 2010, a 19% jump in entries for chemistry, and a 28% jump in entries for further maths. Today, mathematics is by a stretch the most popular A level subject, with 92,000 entries in 2015.
We are already well on the way to achieving the aim of the government’s YourLife campaign. Launched in November 2014, this campaign aims to increase the number of students studying maths and physics A levels by 50% within 3 years. We hope that the maths and physics chairs programme within Researchers in Schools will play a central role in this campaign.