“A-level pass rate and A grades up” says the BBC, noting:
“Among the subjects showing increases were the sciences with entries for chemistry up 3.5%, biology up 2.7% and physics up 2.3%.”
But hang on. The Joint Council for Qualification‘s bizarrely-90s website (it has an entry tunnel?! Is this a reflection on the falling take-up of ICT courses?) links to this PDF, the press release. Which notes:
“With a record 827,737 grades published for A-level this year (805,657 in 2007) … ”
That’s a 2.7% increase in entries. So… are science entries actually up proportionately, or up overall, or …. what?
Sure enough, the Telegraph’s full tabulation of the data – which, incidentally, I can’t find at the JCQ’s site – reveals that science entries are fairly precisely static as a proportion of the total. They’re up, but only by about the same degree that entries are anyway.
This is a marked improvement over declining numbers, which we’ve seen through recent years. But it’s not really the increase in take-up we’re working towards.