The economy needs computer scientists to be creative, the head of Wimbledon High School arguesGetty Images/Corbis

Computer science could become “the province of male techno-nerds”, according to the head of a leading girls’ school.

Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High School, said that there was a danger of creating a new gender divide in the economy because of the low take-up of the subject among girls. Mrs Lunnon, 47, was responding to warnings that the number of pupils studying for a computing GCSE could halve by 2020. The information and communication technology (ICT) exam is being scrapped next year and the more rigorous computer science GCSE will be the only computing qualification on offer.

The number of pupils taking computer science this year increased to 67,800 from 61,220 in 2016 but 58,600 pupils are still taking the ICT exam. Only…