Academies shy away from 'hard' subjects

High proportion of pupils at flagship schools taking vocational exams.

The apparent success of academy schools could be down to their pupils taking easier exams.

A Times Educational Supplement report quoted figures from parliamentary questions that showed that 48 per cent of A* to C grades at academies were achieved in qualifications such as NVQs and BTechs, rather than in academic GCSEs . The thinktank Civitas described these vocational qualifications as being of 'extremely questionable value.'

Just 49 per cent of A* to C grades at academies were achieved in academic subjects, compared to 73 per cent in other schools.

The findings are bad news for the coalition government, which has repeatedly expressed a desire to roll out more academies across the UK, while Education Secretary Michael Gove has stressed the need for more 'hard' subjects to be taught in schools.