Britain’s education system is failing to tackle the “astonishing” underperformance of boys as feminists have made the topic “taboo”, the former head of the university admissions service has warned.
Mary Curnock Cook, who was chief executive of Ucas until last year, said the fact that boys are falling behind in education is a national scandal – yet it is such an “unfashionable” topic to discuss that it has become “normalised”.
Girls outperform boys in all aspects of education, from primary school to GCSEs and A-level results. Last year, 57 per cent of women went to university compared to 43 per cent of men, a gap that has widened significantly over the last decade.
“I just find it unacceptable to think that it’s OK to let boys fall further and further behind in education and allow the gap to get bigger,” Ms Curnock Cook said.
“Boys underachieving in education is becoming pretty normalised – everyone knows it yet no one is doing anything about it.” She said that other disparities in education – such as the gulf between rich and poor children – are narrowing, but the gap between boys and girls is getting wider.
“In about ten years’ time the gap between boys and girls will be worse than rich and poor. That is astonishing really.”