Decline in optional GCSE subjects like drama in Wales

The BBC is reporting that recent figures show there has been a decline in the number of GCSE pupils studying optional subjects, such as drama, in Wales. 

Entries for GCSE drama this summer were down 8% on 2015 and the figure has fallen by a third over the past decade. It is said to be part of a more general move away from optional subjects, with a greater focus on the core curriculum.

One teaching union has warned schools could be losing expertise ahead of the introduction of a new curriculum. In the 2016 summer examinations there were 2,624 pupils registered for GCSE drama – down from 4,182 entries in 2007.

According to the WJEC exams board, the figures are part of a wider trend which has seen a fall in entries for many optional subjects. WJEC chief executive Gareth Pierce said there has been “a definite fall” in numbers taking optional subjects.

Schools say they are now dedicating more time to maths, English and Welsh as a response to Welsh Government policy, he added.

“There has been a massive emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills and therefore maybe this is a consequence of that emphasis,” he said.

More at: Decline in optional GCSE subjects like drama in Wales

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