Girls are far outstripping boys in many secondary school subjects, according to test results published this week, writes Nicholas Pyke.
This is the first year that the Government has released figures showing teachers' assessments of how their 14-year-olds did in the "non-core" subjects. These showed that half the pupils reached the expected standard in history, geography, design and technology, information technology and foreign languages. Three-quarters met the standard in art and PE and two-thirds in music.
But the results also reveal that girls are doing substantially better than boys - a phenomenon later confirmed at GCSE level. In design and technology, for example, 49 per cent of boys reached level 5 as opposed to 64 per cent of girls. In geography, the figures were 54 per cent of boys at level 5 and 63 per cent of girls.