Skip to main content

GCSE

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children obtained GCSEs at grade C or above in (a) English, (b) mathematics, (c) a modern language, (d) history, (e) physics, (f) chemistry and (g) biology in each year between 1997 and 2008; and if he will make a statement. (285459)

The proportion of children who achieved a grade C or above in each of the specified subjects at key stage 4, from 1997 to 2008, are shown in the following table. The figures provided show the proportion of all pupils who achieved a grade C or above, regardless of how many pupils were entered for the GCSE in question.

The number of pupils sitting a modern language GCSE has fallen since languages ceased to be compulsory at KS4 in 2004. However, for those sitting a GCSE, the proportion achieving a grade C or above has risen from 48 per cent. in 1997 to 69 per cent. in 2008.

Percentage

Subject

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

English

50

51

53

54

54

55

56

56

58

59

60

61

Mathematics

43

43

45

46

48

49

48

50

52

53

55

55

History

20

19

20

20

20

20

20

21

21

21

21

21

Sciences

Physics

5

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

7

7

7

10

Chemistry

5

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

7

7

7

10

Biology

5

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

7

7

8

10

Single Award Science

2

2

2

2

1

2

1

1

2

2

2

n/a

Double Award Science

36

37

38

39

40

40

40

40

40

39

39

n/a

Science

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

45

Additional science

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

37

Languages

French

25

26

27

27

27

27

24

23

23

21

19

18

German

12

12

12

12

12

12

11

11

10

9

8

8

Spanish

3

3

4

4

4

5

5

5

5

5

6

6

Other modern language

2

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

n/a = Not applicable.

Notes:

1. Figures in recent years are for all pupils at the end of key stage 4, figures prior to 2005 are for all 15-year-old pupils.

2. 2005 figures are available for 15-year-olds as well as for pupils at the end of key stage 4. A comparison of the two has shown the change in coverage does not affect the result by more than one percentage point in any of the given subjects.

Detailed figures for 2008 can be found in the following Statistical First Release: GCSE and Equivalent Results in England, 2007/08 (Revised) at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000826/SFR02_2009_AdditionalTables_Amended030309-2.xls (table 11)