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Encouraging girls into computer science

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Teacher stood with three students looking at physical computing kits

Not enough girls study computer science which is holding them back from rewarding technology careers. We're on a mission to change that - will you join us?

Computing is fast becoming a universal requirement for employment, yet the number of girls participating in the subject is disproportionate. Computer science is growing in popularity among students taking GCSEs and A levels, but girls are consistently outnumbered by their male counterparts. In 2022, only one in five GCSE Computer Science, and 15.2% of all A level Computer Science entries were from female students in England.

This underrepresentation continues into industry, with only 1 in 4 working in tech or digital roles being women. It is a complex problem linked to issues such as lack of understanding of the subject and opportunities it presents, perceived relevance, parental support, confidence and self-efficacy.

Teachers have a significant influence on the futures of young people. They can help girls benefit from the same opportunities that many boys currently take up. All teachers can make a difference, so we are excited to reveal that we are launching a new programme this September. ‘I Belong: Encouraging Girls into Computer Science’ is an evidence-based programme which aims to support more girls into computer science qualifications and careers by providing teachers with the knowledge and tools to support them. We’ll share more details in the coming months, so keep an eye on our website and social media.

I Belong Champions

As part of this, we're looking for educators to join us in championing computer science for girls. Our ‘I Belong’ champions initiative unites those with a common passion and purpose: to advocate for and create a sense of belonging for girls in computer science. The champions will share and embed inclusive practice, leading by example through their own organisation’s progress through the National Centre for Computing Education’s ‘Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and SEND’ dimension of the Computing Quality Framework.

Champions will be able to display their commitment with an ‘I Belong’ digital badge, claimable through participation in our ‘Encouraging girls into GCSE computer science’ course. The digital badge can also help to stimulate interest and discussion with other educators.

Information and resources will support champions to create wider impact by sharing best practice and improving understanding about why the gender gap exists. Champions will be invited to join an online community, sharing their plans and success increasing girls' participation in computer science.

Next steps

  • If you’d like to join this community of passionate advocates and have completed the ‘Encouraging girls into GCSE computer science’ course, look out for an email with instructions on how to claim your badge.
  • More details about the ‘I Belong’ programme are coming very soon - keep an eye out for information on how to register!