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Expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs

Last updated: 03:59pm 12 January 2019

We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.51

Our verdict

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a combination of GCSE subjects that the government wants students to study. The subjects are English language and literature, maths, the sciences, geography or history, and a language. The EBacc was initially introduced in 2010. The government expects 75% of students to study this combination of GCSEs by the end of this parliament (2022).

In July 2017 the government published a consultation response which stated that 40% of students took the EBacc combination of subjects that year. The response also said that Ofsted reports will include the steps schools are taking to encourage students to take the EBacc and that the government would help schools recruit modern foreign languages teachers.

In the 2017 Autumn Budget, £84 million was committed to train computer science teachers, to contribute to the science part of the EBacc.

2018 saw a rise in GCSE entries to EBacc subjects of just over 5% so this policy is certainly ‘in progress’. We will continue to monitor movement towards or away from the target of 75% of pupils being entered for the EBacc combination of subjects. Follow this policy for updates.

NB. In addition to the target of 75% by 2022, the manifesto says the government is aiming to reach 90% take-up by 2025.  This deadline falls outside of this term of parliament, so we aren’t tracking this part of the promise. If, however, the government delivers the 90% target within this parliament, we’ll create a separate policy and mark it as ‘done’.

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