Number of GCSEs taken falls again
Wednesday 09 May 2012
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.
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
£40 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse needed in salfordI a...
£25 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse needed in th...
£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...