'Soft subjects pushed to boost results'

29th June 2007 at 01:00
ACADEMIES ARE encouraging pupils to take more "soft" subjects to exaggerate their success in league tables, according to a report. Pupils in the first wave of 14 academies are doing 12 times the number of GNVQs compared with their predecessor schools, it is claimed.

Terry Wrigley, an academic at Edinburgh university, said political pressure to improve results had resulted in schools steering pupils away from academic subjects and towards GNVQ equivalents.

"GNVQs do provide qualifications to pupils, but to use them as a device to claim that academies are working is completely flawed," he said.

In 2002 there was one GNVQ entry for every 10 pupils, compared with 12 for every 10 pupils last year, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said that the findings were "complete nonsense".

"The National Audit Office report in February found GCSE performance in academies has improved compared with predecessor schools and it is improving in academies at a faster rate than in other types of schools,"

she said.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today