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More secondary students studying core academic subjects

More secondary students studying core academic subjects

education.gov.uk

New statistics reveal more students are studying core academic subjects at secondary school

Press notice
Press notice date: 25 April 2012
Updated: 10 May 2012

New statistics published today show that there are around 3,400 more teachers in secondary schools teaching in English Baccalaureate – or EBacc – subjects. The statistics also reveal that the number of hours taught in history, geography and modern languages – EBacc subjects– is up by 10 per cent overall in 2011 compared with the previous year. These subjects have historically been in decline so this shows that schools are widening the opportunities for pupils to study these subjects in Key Stage 4.

The EBacc was introduced in January 2011 by the Department as an additional measure in the performance tables. It recognises the success of those young people who attain GCSEs, or accredited versions of established iGCSEs, at grades A* to C across a core of academic subjects – English, maths, geography or history, the sciences and a language. These are the qualifications which will best prepare young people for further study and rewarding employment.

The new data shows there was an increase of 23,000 teaching hours in the EBacc subjects compromising:

  • an increase of 11 per cent in the number of hours of history lessons at Key Stage 4 – from 43,800 in 2010 to 48,600 in 2011
  • an increase of around 13 per cent in the number of hours of geography lessons at Key Stage 4 – from 37,100 in 2010 to 41,900 in 2011
  • an increase of around 8 per cent in the number of hours of languages lessons at Key Stage 4 – from 69,300 in 2010 to 74,600 in 2011.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

We want all children to have a broad and balanced education that includes English, maths, the sciences, a language and history or geography. Today’s figures show an encouraging trend that reflects the fact that schools are offering more of these core academic subjects. In 2011 there were around 3,400 more teachers teaching in these subjects and an increase of 23,000 teaching hours on the previous year.

The EBacc ensures that young people have the knowledge and skills they need to progress to further study or to rewarding employment. Through the EBacc, we are opening up these core subjects to all pupils, regardless of their background.

A survey of almost 700 maintained secondary schools by the National Centre for Social Research last year showed that:

  • 33 per cent of pupils in the schools surveyed taking GCSEs this year will be doing a combination of subjects that could lead to an EBacc
  • 47 per cent of pupils in the schools surveyed taking GCSEs in 2013 will be doing a combination of subjects that could lead to an EBacc.

This compares with data which shows that in 2010 just 22 per cent of GCSE-stage pupils were entered for the EBacc.

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