GCSE results 2012
23 August 2012
Commenting on this year’s GCSE results Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group of universities, said:
“Congratulations to all those pupils who have worked so hard for their well-deserved GCSE grades. We hope those who have aspirations to go to a leading university will think carefully about the next steps and pick their A-level or equivalent subjects wisely.
“Young people should choose subjects which give them the best possible preparation for their chosen degree or which keep as many options as possible open for them, for example by taking facilitating subjects, such as English and Maths.
“We worry that in some state schools pupils are not getting the right advice and guidance. Pupils from families with less experience of higher education are in particular need of good information and advice from their schools and careers services.
“The Russell Group has published a guide called Informed Choices http://russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/, which aims to improve information about how subject choices at school can impact on university applications.
“We are pleased to see an increase in the number of pupils taking single sciences with entries in all three subjects going up by 12.3% on top of sustained increases over the last five years. These qualifications will stand them in good stead in their future studies and careers.
“All students should have the opportunity to study separate sciences at GCSE as they are important stepping stones to A-level science and beyond. We know that pupils who take single science GCSEs are more likely to take STEM subjects at A-level and get higher grades in their A-levels than those who did double science.
“We are pleased to see a slight increase overall in pupils taking modern foreign languages and a halt to the decline in pupils taking traditional modern foreign languages. We hope this will be the beginning of a renaissance in languages in our schools and beyond. We hope those pupils will consider doing languages at A-level, where it is the right thing for them.
“We are concerned about the attainment gap between independent schools and other centres reflected in today’s results. This attainment gap demonstrates the continuing difficulty our universities face as they work to attract students with the most talent, potential and ability from all backgrounds and is the key reason why so few students from low-income backgrounds gain places at leading universities.”
Notes to editors:
• Figures from JCQ today show that over a 5 year period Biology is up 94.3%, Chemistry 107.6% and Physics 108.7%.
• Overall modern foreign languages are up by around 2%. French is down 0.5% and German 5.5% but Spanish is up 10% and other modern languages rose by 13.7%.
• The odds of getting an A or B at A level chemistry in the maintained sector are increased by 76 per cent for pupils who take three separate science GCSEs compared to those who took double science. Source: Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014: Next Steps (March 2006), p.47. Available from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/7/8/bud06_science_332v1.pdf
• The “facilitating subjects” at Advanced level are English Literature, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography and Modern and Classical Languages. These are subjects that are required more often than others by Russell Group universities. More details are available in Informed Choices http://russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/