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Still too little diversity in students taking physics A-level, warns IOP

18 August 2022

More government support needed to help make this crucial subject accessible and attractive to all. 

Responding to this morning’s A-level exam results, Institute of Physics (IOP) Deputy Chief Executive, Rachel Youngman, said: “The slight fall in the numbers of students studying physics at A-level is worrying as is the fact that still only around 23% of those studying this crucial subject are girls.

“Too many young people from under-represented and underserved groups are discouraged or prevented from pursuing physics and are denied the opportunity to help change the world – whether tackling the climate emergency or opening up new frontiers in space exploration.

“We call on the government to implement mandatory whole-school approaches to equity to help knock down the barriers which prevent students from all backgrounds from seeing physics as a choice that is open to them.

“And with specialist physics teachers having a huge role to play in instilling their students with a passion for physics, it is imperative that the government urgently ramps up its investment in closing the physics teacher gap.”

This year’s grades are the first to reflect public examination results since 2019, before the pandemic.

The IOP congratulates all students who received their results today.