Following the A-Level results released last Thursday, research shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of pupils choosing maths and science over english and other languages. Interestingly, Exam board chiefs believe this trend is partially to blame for this year's declining pass rates (which dipped for the first time in 30 years, with the number of A* to E grades dropping 0.1 points to 98%) with the increased uptake of science and maths coming at the expense of broader subjects that some claim are easier. Reports show that the number of pupils taking English at A-level dropped by more than 4% and those taking French dropped by as much as 7%. In contrast, chemistry and physics increased by 3%, with Biology being the third most popular subject across the board. The most significant rise in numbers was computing that etched up by 11%.
Education secretory, Nicky Morgan, said: "I'm delighted to see more students, especially young women, studying maths and sciences, and teachers having more time to push pupils to achieve the very top grades. This will help them secure the top jobs, regardless of their background, and secure a brighter future." However, while many agree that the increase in popularity among these subjects is important, particularly among young women, experts show concern for UK employment, as languages are also vital in order to stay competitive with the rest of the world. John Cridland, who is director-general of the CBI employers' group pointed out that: "If we want to do what George Osborne has asked us to do, which is double Britain's exports from half a trillion to a trillion [pounds] within the decade, then languages are an important part of business: managers being able to get on planes to the far-flung parts of the world and sell British goods and services.If you can't do that"‰."‰."‰."‰the ability to have that second or third language gives your competitor from Germany, or France, or the Netherlands, the edge."