The Science Education Tracker 2023

Analysis of young people's attitudes to and experiences of STEM education and careers (England)

Publication date

24 April 2024


What's covered

The Science Education Tracker 2023 is the third in a series of studies which track evidence of more than 7,200 young people’s experiences of and attitudes towards STEM education and careers. The 2023 report included, for the first time, questions specifically about engineering. The surveys are nationally representative, and the sample is drawn from the National Pupil Database and the Individualised Learner Record – DfE databases of all young people in England in state-funded education.

This research was developed in partnership with the Royal Society and was undertaken by Verian.

Who this is for

  • Policymakers
  • Researchers
  • Teachers
  • Careers leads
  • STEM outreach organisations

Key findings

  • Only 12% of girls say being an engineer fits well with who they are
  • Just 16% of girls think engineering is suitable for them
  • Interest in science has declined and a gender gap has opened up
  • 36% of girls say science is not for them
  • Opportunities for practical science are particularly important for less engaged students
  • Only a quarter (26%) of GCSE students doing practical work at least every fortnight

 A bar chart showing the decline in practical science lessons across all school years since 2016


The findings of the tracker are a serious wake-up call. We need to do more to keep young people interested in STEM as they progress through school and build their understanding of the opportunities available to them.
Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive, EngineeringUK
“The present situation means many young people may emerge from school without a sound appreciation of scientific methodologies”
Professor Ulrike Tillmann FRS, Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee


Background info

Royal Society Science Education Tracker

Science Education Tracker 2016

Science Education Tracker 2019




Related content 

Engineering Brand Monitor
Our careers, our future: STEM careers provision and young people
STEM clubs and their ability to increase students’ aspirations for engineering and technology careers
Code 300 news item
Apprenticeships inquiry report


Share this page

Share on LinkedIn

Share on X