Number of GCSEs taken falls again
Demand for GCSEs is falling as students continue to choose practical courses in subjects such as food safety and music.
For the third year in a row, the number of GCSEs taken dropped, down to 5.54 million last year from 6.21 million in 2007/08, according to a report by the exams regulator Ofqual.
It suggested that the decline may be due to the increase in vocational qualifications offered in schools as well as changes to the size of year groups.
In total, 7.96 million "other" (often vocational) qualifications were awarded last year, up from 2.2 million in 2002/03.
The numbers have been steadily rising year on year, although they stalled last year compared to 2009/10, when 7.99 million were awarded.
The report shows that almost 160,000 students took a Level 1 award in music performance last year, while a similar number took a Level 2 award in food safety in catering - which is equivalent to a GCSE.
It means more people took these courses than took traditional GCSEs in chemistry, German, biology, physics or Spanish.
There was also a rise in AS-level achievement last year, with 1.3 million awards compared with 1.13 million the year before.
A-level awards remained static at 0.88 million.
Ofqual's report also shows that the cost of exams has risen.
In total, schools spent £328.3 million on exam fees last year, compared with £302.6 million the year before.
Revealed: Devastating impact of 'bedroom tax' sees huge leap in demand for emergency hardship handouts for tenants
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
Five-year-old British girl who died in a pool at Coral Sea Waterworld Hotel in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort named as Chloe Johnson
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 4 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS2 teacher needed to do PPA ...
£65 - £80 per day: Randstad Education London: We are currently looking for a N...
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education London: Special Needs Teacher ne...
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education London: A Special Needs School i...