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
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

WORLDbytes: Two-Day Intensive Camera training and Shoot: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March

expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 4 Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A school in Tameside is currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are currently looking for ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn