London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Girls' attitudes and success in science education

Funded by:

the Association of Maintained Girls' Schools


May 2003 - October 2004

This project aimed to investigate the factors that make a girls' school ‘successful’ in science (defining success in terms of high levels of attainment and motivation). The proposed project had two distinct stages:

Stage 1:

This initial stage involved sending a questionnaire to Head Teachers and Heads of Science Departments at all AMGS affiliated schools. The purpose of this survey was:

  • to gain a broad view of the factors which Head Teachers and Heads of Science identify as impacting on pupils’ positive attitudes and success at science;
  • to gain an overview of achievement levels at science in relation to other subjects at the different schools; and;
  • to identify suitable case-study schools for the second, qualitative stage of the project.

The questionnaire distribution took place in late 2003, and the resulting data was analysed and reported to AMGS by IPSE in an interim report (Hutchings, Francis & Dalgety, 2003).

Stage 2:

The second stage of the project took a qualitative approach in order to identify school-based factors that contribute to girls’ liking for, and success at, science. The research took place at three case-study schools identified from the first stage of the project. The methods included classroom observation, individual interviews with the relevant class teachers, focus groups interview with pupils, and brief questionnaires to all teachers in the science departments. The intention was to gain a range of different views of what makes science attractive to girls and/or helps them to succeed at it or otherwise. A final report for the AMGS was completed in October 2004.


Project Team:

Becky Francis,
Merryn Hutchings
Barbara Read


Becky Francis -


   Company Information    Page last updated 28 February 2008     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)