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Headteachers and experts to be questioned by MPs on low uptake of physics and maths by girls

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The Science and Technology Committee will hold a further session examining why certain groups of children are underrepresented in STEM subjects. The session comes after Katharine Birbalsingh’s evidence to the Committee on the reasons for low uptake of physics A-level by girls sparked debate.

MPs will hear from headteachers and experts on this issue, including physics professorDame Athene Donald who has publicly rebutted the reasons given by Katharine Birbalsingh.

In the final panel, the heads of the learned societies in physics and maths will be questioned on their efforts to address diversity and inclusion issues in those fields.

Witness schedule:

Panel One (at 9.30am):  

  • Dr Claire Crawford, Research Fellow at Institute for Fiscal Studies;
  • Professor Dame Athene Donald, Master of Churchill College and Professor Emerita of Experimental Physics at University of Cambridge; and    
  • Dr Jasper Green, Her Majesty’s Inspector, Schools and Subject Lead, Science at Ofsted Curriculum Unit.    

Panel 2 (at approx. 10.15am):

  • Clare Hayes, Deputy Head, Hyndland Secondary School;    
  • Mark Turner, Headteacher, Skipton High School for Girls; and
  • Jane Lunnon, Head, Alleyn’s School.    

Panel Two (at approx. 11.00am): 

  • Rachel Youngman, Deputy Chief Executive, Institute of Physics; and
  • Professor Ulrike Tillmann, President, London Mathematical Society.  
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