John Cope, Head of Education and Skills Policy, said:
“Congratulations to those getting their GCSE results today, after what will have been many years of hard work and dedication. Whatever your grades, there are great options available for everyone to pursue in education or vocational training.
On the rise in maths and science entries, John said:
“STEM subjects are increasingly being recognised by young people as one of the best passports to future career success. Businesses are crying out for more skills in these areas as the world of work is transformed by new tech and the digital revolution.
On the rise in young women taking computing, John said:
“Computing has traditionally struggled to attract young women to study at GCSE, so such a healthy increase in female entries can only be good news in eliminating outdated gender stereotypes.
On the importance of a broad curriculum, John said:
“Employers will be pleased to see some recovery in the number of people doing arts subjects, but this year’s results still show a worrying narrowing of the curriculum. The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy, so the decline in creative subjects must be reversed.
On the increase in foreign language entries, John said:
“The Government’s vision of a welcoming and open ‘Global Britain’ means it’s essential more people take modern foreign languages, or the UK will get left behind.
“The significant boost in Spanish entries is particularly encouraging, but the decline in students taking German shows we still have a long way to go.
On the need to tackle educational inequalities, John said:
“It is a national scandal that where a young person starts and the place they’re born, defines the opportunities they have. It will be 500 years before disadvantaged young people don’t fall behind, at the current rate education inequality is improving. “Employers need to play their part by supporting schools and also make sure their recruitment practices are fair.
“Young people not reaching their potential has real consequences for our economy – it means we’ve lost business leaders, scientists, innovators, and the artists of the future.”