Business leaders praise increase in students taking traditional GCSE subjects

BUSINESS groups yesterday praised the increased number of students taking GCSEs in traditional subjects – but warned Britain is still lagging far behind when it comes to technology skills.

More than 600,000 teenagers received their results yesterday, with figures showing continued growth in the number of entries for science subjects. There was also a sharp rise in the popularity of foreign languages after years of decline.

Overall, the number of students achieving A*-C grades fell for the second consecutive year

“The rise in the number of pupils taking key subjects such as maths and the sciences will be welcomed by employers,” said Mike Harris of the Institute of Directors.

“But there remains a long way to go.”

The British Chambers of Commerce echoed his comments but said the government should not ignore vocational teaching in favour of academic results.

Education minister Liz Truss said the results validated the coalition’s introduction of the EBacc, a new qualification awarded to those who achieve a good grade in English, maths, two sciences, a foreign language and either history or geography.

The slump in students passing has been widely attributed to more pupils taking exams a year early. Some schools also made students sit two tests in the same subject with competing exam boards, in an apparent attempt to climb league tables.

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