Secondary school league tables: Dramatic increase in number of students studying traditional subjects

Education Secretary hails 250,000 fewer pupils in underperforming schools

A dramatic increase in the number of teenagers studying a traditional academic curriculum in state schools has been revealed in the Government's exam league tables.

Figures show the number of pupils eligible for the Government’s new English Baccalaureate has soared by more than 50 per cent in the past year - with an extra 72,000 pupils taking the total number to 202,000.

Pupils qualify for the EBacc - as it has been dubbed - by getting at least a C grade pass in English, maths, history or geography, the sciences and a language at GCSE.  Ministers argue these are the subjects most likely to gain pupils access to one of the country’s most selective universities.

A breakdown of the figures shows that at least half the pupils took the EBacc in 735 schools - just under one in four of the total. That compares to 334 schools the previous year.

In 237 schools, more than half the pupils passed, up from 174 in 2012.

This year is the first time that the full impact of the EBacc’s introduction can be seen - as students can now have studied it for two years.

Only 37 schools in the country failed to enter a single pupil for the qualification - down from 120 in 2012.

Meanwhile, a total of 154 secondary schools have failed to reach the Government’s minimum target of 40 per cent of their pupils obtaining five A* to C grade passes at GCSE - which means they face being forced to join the Government’s academies programme with a new sponsor with a track record of improving weak schools taking them over.

The Government raised the floor target from 35 per cent this year and - if the new minimum had been in place last year - 195 schools would have failed to meet it.

“These figures are a credit to the professionalism and hard work of teachers,” said Education Secretary Michael Gove.

“Thanks to their efforts, the number of children taught in under-performing schools has fallen by almost 250,000 since 2010.

“This progress has been achieved at the same time as our EBacc has ensured many more young people are taking the core subjects which will most help them find a good job or go on to university.”

Top performing school was Colyton Grammar School in Devon for the second year running where all pupils obtained at least a C grade or higher in five subjects at GCSE - while the most improved school was St Thomas More Catholic school in north London, which saw the percentage of pupils obtaining the magic five A* to C grades including maths and English rise from 31 per cent to 91 per cent in three years.

Two schools, Queen Elizabeth’s in Barnet and Chelmsford County School for Girls had a 100 per cent record in the number of pupils qualifying for the EBacc.

Today’s league tables list academic and vocational qualifications separately for the first time - a move opposed by teachers’ leaders. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “We are not in favour .. because it send the wrong message to pupils, parents and schools about what is important.

“Academic and vocational qualifications are of equal value, should be held in equally high esteem and treated as equal in a unified reporting system.”

The performance tables can be found here.

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Optimisation Strategist / Conversion Analyst

£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Optimisation Strategist is needed ...

AER Teachers: Science Teacher for Excellent SW London School

£27000 - £36000 per annum + MPS + TLR: AER Teachers: An excellent SW London Se...

AER Teachers: SENCO - SOUTH LONDON ACADEMY

£30000 - £50000 per annum: AER Teachers: A top academy in South London is invi...

AER Teachers: NQT - YEAR 1 - 'OUTSTANDING' SCHOOL

£27500 - £32000 per annum: AER Teachers: This 'Outstanding' Primary school in ...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes