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GCSE

Volume 496: debated on Monday 5 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of students in comprehensive schools achieved GCSE English, English literature and mathematics at grade C or higher in (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) the last year for which figures are available. (283466)

Of those pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in comprehensive schools in England in 2008, 227,380 (42.4 per cent.) achieved a GCSE in all of English, English Literature and Mathematics at grade C or above.

Prior to 2005 statistics are available only for those pupils aged 15 (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August), rather than at the end of Key Stage 4.

Of those pupils aged 15 in comprehensive schools in England in 2002, 184,966 (36.7 per cent.) achieved a GCSE in all of English, English Literature and Mathematics at grade C or above.

Of those pupils aged 15 in comprehensive schools in England in 1997, 114,678 (29.8 per cent.) achieved a GCSE in all of English, English Literature and Mathematics at grade C or above.

The source for this answer is the Achievement and Attainment Tables database.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of pupils who achieved a GCSE in core science and one of (a) geology, (b) psychology, (c) electronics, (d) astronomy, (e) environmental science, (f) environmental and land-based science and (g) human physiology and health at each grade were educated in the (i) maintained mainstream and (ii) independent sector in each year since 2007. (286853)

In this answer all of the given subjects have been interpreted to mean their scientific GCSE syllabuses only. For example, electronics does not include D&T and Electronics or any vocational electronics qualifications. Human physiology and health has been interpreted to mean human biology.

In 2007, there were only 17 pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving a GCSE in core science and at least one GCSE in geology, environmental science or human biology, both at grade A*-G. All of these pupils were educated in the maintained sector.

In 2008, pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving a GCSE in core science and at least one of the requested subjects, both at grade A*-G, are counted in the following table:

A*-G

A*-G

Maintained sector

Geology

294

93.0

Electronics

353

96.7

Astronomy

590

97.4

Environmental Science

1,790

98.1

Human Biology

1,785

100.0

Independent sector

Geology

22

7.0

Electronics

12

3.3

Astronomy

16

2.6

Environmental Science

34

1.9

Human Biology

0

0.0

As can be seen from the table, only very small numbers of pupils in the independent sector are counted. Because of those small numbers, it is not possible to give figures for a breakdown into separate grades.

No pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 achieved passes in both core science and either psychology as a science or environmental and land-based science.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students achieved Grade B or above in both GCSE English and mathematics in 2008. (287384)

154,276 pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieved a grade B or above in both GCSE English and mathematics in 2007/08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in which five non-core curriculum subjects the number of GCSE entries was highest in each (a) comprehensive, (b) selective and (c) partially selective local education authority area in 2009. (291134)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: For this answer, a comprehensive local authority has been defined as one where all pupils in the maintained sector are attending comprehensive schools, whereas a partially selective local authority has been defined as having between 0 per cent. and 25 per cent. of 13-year-old pupils on roll attending one or more selective schools. Finally, a selective local authority has been defined as having 25 per cent. or more 13-year-old pupils on roll attending one or more selective schools.

Excluding English, maths and science GCSEs, the five subjects with the most entries by pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in 2008 (the latest year for which figures are available) are given in the following table, for local authorities that are comprehensive, selective and partially selective.

Rank in descending order of entries

1. English Literature

2. History

3. Art and Design

4. Geography

5. Religious Studies

Comprehensive local authorities

Number of entries

327,000

122,500

112,600

104,300

101,600

Proportion of all entries (percentage)

20.7

7.8

7.1

6.6

6.4

Partially selective local authorities

Number of entries

100,800

40,200

36,000

35,700

35,400

Proportion of all entries (percentage)

19.7

7.9

7.0

7.0

6.9

Rank in descending order of entries

1. English Literature

2. History

3. French

4. Art and Design

5. Geography

Selective local authorities

Number of entries

43,300

17,400

15,200

15,200

15,000

Proportion of all entries (percentage)

20.3

8.1

7.1

7.1

7.0

Only full GCSEs are included in this analysis. English Literature has been included as a non-core curriculum subject because it extends beyond the literature content in core National Curriculum English programme of study. English GCSE covers both the literature and language content of National Curriculum English.