Thursday, 19 August 2010

Who's to blame for A-level science success?

The Telegraph website reports two interesting subject stories from today's A-level results. The first is a further dip in French and German entries (somewhat offset by an economically rational decision to opt for Spanish instead) which the Telegraph blames on Labour's decision to scrap compulsory post-14 languages. There is then a report on the (further) surge in advanced Maths and Physics entrants which is largely due to a very successful Labour government initiative to improve take up in the so-called STEM subjects, driven through universities and specialist science colleges. This drive has also increased science and maths entries at GCSE and to universities. Funnily, the Telegraph has forgotten to mention the Labour government's role in this story, claiming this is entirely a result of the recession even though a 20 year-decline in physics actually started to reverse before the recession.


oldandrew said...

Are you sure the increase in Maths entrants isn't because it's two years since the first cohort of students to complete the two-tier dumbed-down maths GCSE? Surely, that would have helped a lot more students reach the entrance requirement (usually a B) for maths A-level?

Conor Ryan said...

Old Andrew - but if they only got in on the basis of what you call a dumbed down GCSE, they would hardly be excelling in Further A level maths, would they?