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Number of science GCSEs doubles

The number of students taking single science GCSEs has doubled since 2000, according to the latest results, published today.

This increase is especially good news as the number of students has shrunk by 3% overall, and is good news for the engineering sector, according to the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB).

The number of students taking physics has r, maths, additional maths and chemistry have also increased, but by a smaller proportion.

Since last year, the rises have been sharpest in physics, chemistry and additional maths.


21% increase in entrants up to 91,179

93.1% pass rate at grades A*-C

Additional Maths:

11% increase in entrants to 18,765

68 % pass rate at grades A*-C


2% increase in entrants up to754,738

57 % pass rate at grades A*-C


20% increase in entrants, up to 92, 246

94% pass rate at grades A*-C

Chief Executive of the ETB, Paul Jackson, said: “Whilst we must not be complacent, it is both refreshing and promising to see the hard work of the science and engineering communities beginning to pay off in school subject choices.

“Today’s GCSE results support the view that young people have never been so interested in science and engineering – but we must not rest on our laurels. We must work together to promote the creative and exciting aspects of science and engineering to young people and this includes providing the support the new engineering diploma requires to enable it to grow in success,”  he said.

However, these large increases in entrants to single sciences are counteracted by 8% decreases in science and additional science.

Even taking both this decrease and the 3% decrease in the 15-16 year old group overall into account however, there remains a significant rise in the number of students taking science subjects. 

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