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New figures show the importance of the English Baccalaureate

Comment from Schools Minister Nick Gibb on statistics showing outcomes for 19-year-olds in England in 2010.

Commenting on today’s publication of statistics showing outcomes for 19-year-olds in England in 2010, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

These statistics underline the importance of studying the core academic subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate - young people who achieve good grades in these subjects are more likely to go on to higher education and less likely to be NEET.

Publishing information on EBacc attainment will increase the opportunities for all young people - especially those in disadvantaged areas - to study these vital subjects.

Today’s statistics show that:

Of those who achieved the EBacc:

  • 80% were in full-time education at age 19 - 81% of them were in higher education
  • 3% were NEET at age 19

Of those who achieved five GCSE passes at A* to C or equivalent including English and maths:

  • 67% were in full-time education at age 19 - 67% of them were in higher education
  • 5% were NEET at age 19

Of those who achieved five GCSE passes at A* to C or equivalent not including English and maths:

  • 61% were in full-time education at age 19 - 60% of them were in higher education
  • 6% were NEET at age 19

Further information

The Youth Cohort Study and Longitudinal Study of Young People in England: The Activities and Experiences of 19 year olds: England 2010 can be found from the publications section.

English Baccalaureate subjects are: English, maths, geography or history, the sciences and a language.

16% of 16-year-old learners achieved the English Baccalaureate in 2009/10. 22% of pupils were entered for subjects that covered all the component parts of the English Baccalaureate.

Of those who achieved the EBacc combination:

  • 95 per cent went on to study at level 3 (A level standard) post-16, with 44 per cent getting the equivalent of at least one A and 16 per cent getting the equivalent of three As.

Of those who achieved the benchmark of five GCSES passes at A*-C or equivalent including English and maths:

  • 75 per cent of whom went on to level 3 study, 24 per cent getting at least one A and seven per cent getting three.

Since 2004, the number of non-academic qualifications taken up to age 16 has risen from about 15,000 to about 575,000, with a higher take-up of vocational qualifications by young people from deprived backgrounds.

In 2002 around 75% of pupils attempted a modern foreign languages subject. In 2010, this figure was just over 43%.

Science (single, double or additional sciences) fell by roughly 60,000 between 2006/07 and 2009/10.

There is a large gap between FSM and non-FSM pupils’ achievements - only 8% of FSM pupils took the EBacc, with 4% achieving it; whilst 24% of non-FSM pupils took the EBacc and 17% achieved it.

In 2009 just 4% of free school meal (FSM) pupils took chemistry or physics. Fewer than one in five did history and fewer than 15% took geography or French. 24% of FSM pupils entered an MFL subject compared with 43% of non-FSM pupils doing likewise.

4.9% of pupils in Academies (including former CTCs and independents) gained the English Baccalaureate. This compares with 15.1% in maintained schools nationally. However, overall results in Academies continue to improve faster than the national average.

In 2009, 4% of schools in England had no Key Stage 4 entries for geography, and 2% had no KS4 entries for history. 1% of schools did not enter a single KS4 pupil for either subject.

The proportion of pupils entering GCSE geography declined from 44% in 1997 to 27% in 2009, and those entering history declined from 35% to 31%. Over the same period, the proportion of pupils entering GCSE religious studies increased from 17% to 26%.

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