Pupils in Notts not offered vital GCSE subjects, according to new study

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Pupils at schools in some parts of Nottinghamshire are not being offered GCSE subjects that could be vital to their future job prospects, according to new statistics.

The Open Public Services Network (OPSN) examined GCSE figures from 2013 and found that only 84 per cent of schools across the county offer triple science.

The stats revealed that the average number of science GCSEs studied in Nottingamshire is 1.54 per pupil and the average number of language GCSEs taken is one of the worst in the country with just 0.49 per pupil.

QUOTE from Notts County Council...

There are concerns limited subject choices could harm some students from reaching their maximum potential later in their career.

The Government responded by saying thousands more pupils were now taking core subjects.

Roger Taylor, chair of OPSN and RSA Fellow, said: “These data show that children’s educational opportunities are defined by where they live. We can see that the curriculum taught to children in poorer parts of England is significantly different to that taught in wealthier areas.”

“This would be of little concern if these differences reflected the needs and choices of pupils and families. Our worry is that instead they reflect decisions made by schools and are based on calculations as to how schools can appear better on league tables by encouraging children to avoid taking on more challenging subjects.”

Statistics from OPSN show that pupils in Sheffield and Derbyshire are offered more choices.

In Sheffield, 100 per cent of pupils are offered triple science and 89 per cent in Derbyshire.

The average number of science GCSEs studied per pupil in Sheffield is 1.83 and 1.74 in Derbyshire.

However, the average number of language GCSEs taken per pupil in Notts is higher - with 0.45 in Sheffield and 0.41 in Derbyshire.

Following the publication of the study, this newspaper contacted Notts County Council.

A spokesman for Notts County Council said: “Notts CC has no role in influencing, leading or developing the curriculum. It is down to head teachers and governors to decide on which subjects and exam boards to offer students and this is irrespective of school governance.”