NARROWING THE GAP
Can leadership skills help narrow the gender gap
in GCSE Computing?
•Computing has only recently been available as a GCSE
course (since 2010).
•Study of GCSE Computing at Perins is entirely optional.
•Gender imbalance in Computer Science is a national
issue in schools, colleges, universities and industry.
Is It Just Preference?
• Although only three girls are currently studying Computing
at Perins, they enjoy it and do well in assessments.
• They are also keen to encourage other girls to consider
• Positive feedback from parents…
Is Computer Science a topic that is of little or no interest to girls?
Dear Mr Gardner
My daughter is really enjoying her
Computing GCSE and is thinking about a
possible career in IT.
I wondered if you know whether there are
any opportunities to do work experience at
Thanks very much.
The Process for Change
2. Urgency: Before Year 8 select their GCSE courses.
3. Build Time: Put intervention events in the calendar.
4. Plan: Arrange realistic interventions.
5. Communication: Share plan with parents & students.
6. Manage: Ensure interventions are attended.
Need: Observable gender gap.
Identification: Logical Thinkers
• Observed a positive correlation between high scores in “non-
verbal reasoning” (logic) tests and ability with practical
• Used Cognitive Ability Test data to identify 20 most “logical”
girls in Year 8 (students about to choose GCSE courses).
• Not the same as able maths.
Noticed that many of the best students in my first GCSE group were very logical thinkers.
Intervention: Dialogue with peers
•Year 10 girls already studying Computing invited to help
run a stand at the GCSE “choices fair”.
•These girls spoke confidently and enthusiastically to
younger children (and parents) about their positive
experience of Computing.
Communication: Email to Parents
I am writing to you because I
believe your daughter would
enjoy taking Computing as
one of her GCSE choices
Thanks for your email.
We spoke at the ChoicesEvening and I am pleased tosay that Holly is very keen totake GCSE Computing!
• Will distribute report through Computing At School
network in the hope that other schools might benefit.
Published online as a blog for anyone to view.
The Process for Change
2. Urgency: Before Year 8 select their GCSE courses
3. Build Time: Put intervention events in the calendar
4. Plan: Arrange realistic interventions
5. Communication: Share plan with parents & students
6. Manage: Ensure interventions are attended
1. Anchor the change: what about next year?
Need: Observable gender gap