GCSE entries increased this year as the number of 16-year-olds rose, Ofqual has reported.
According to the exams regulator, there have been 5,281,745 entries for GCSE exams this year, up from 5,185,840. The increase of 2 per cent is more than double that seen last year, but is to be expected as it corresponds with a 3 per cent increase in the number of 16-year-olds.
The subjects with the largest increases in entries include combined science, history, Spanish, statistics and citizenship, while PE, media, engineering, computing and “other modern language” courses saw the biggest falls.
Meanwhile, A-level entries have continued to fall, dropping by 2 per cent from 745,585 in 2019 to 731,855 this year. This correspondents with a 3 per cent decrease in the number of 18-year-olds.
The government said the increase in GCSE entries was mostly driven by a boost in entries to EBacc subjects, up from 4,206,700 in 2019 to 4,297,100 this year, an increase of 2.1 per cent. Entries to non-Ebacc subjects also rose, but by 0.6 per cent, from 979,140 to 984,645.
The biggest rises among EBacc subjects were in combined science (up 4 per cent), history (up 4 per cent) and Spanish (up 5 per cent), while entries in computing and “other modern languages” (which excludes French, Spanish and German) saw the largest decreases in entries, at -2 per cent and -4 per cent respectively.
Among non-EBacc subjects, the largest rises were in statistics and citizenship (both up 9 per cent) and economics (up 6 per cent) while the largest falls were in PE (down 7 per cent), media film and TV studies (down 5 per cent) and engineering (also down 5 per cent).
AS-level entries continued the rapid slump seen since they were decoupled from A-levels. Entries dropped 26 per cent this year, from 117,595 to 86,970.
Pupils will not sit exams in the subjects this year because of the coronavirus, with schools instead issuing teacher-assessed grades and ranking pupils on their performance in each subject.
Spanish – up 5 per cent
Combined science – up 4 per cent
History – up 4 per cent
German – up 3 per cent
Maths – up 2 per cent
English language – up 2 per cent
English literature – up 2 per cent
Geography – up 1 per cent
Ancient languages – No change
French – no change
Biology – down 1 per cent
Chemistry – down 1 per cent
Physics – down 1 per cent
Computing – down 2 per cent
Other modern languages – down 4 per cent
Citizenship studies – up 9 per cent
Statistics – up 9 per cent
Economics – up 6 per cent
Art and design – up 5 per cent
Classical subjects – up 5 per cent
Food preparation and nutrition – up 5 per cent
Other sciences – up 5 per cent
Business studies – up 2 per cent
Social science subjects – up 1 per cent
Drama – no change
Music – no change
Design and technology – down 1 per cent
Religious studies – down 1 per cent
Performing/expressive arts – down 3 per cent
Engineering – down 5 per cent
Media, film and TV studies – down 5 per cent
Physical education – down 7 per cent