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Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 16 September 2009]: We are determined to ensure that as many young people as possible continue their learning beyond the age of 16 to get the qualifications and experience they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive labour market.
Through the September Guarantee, we are providing every young person aged 16-17 with a suitable offer of a place in learning. This has helped us to make excellent progress on participation, with a record level of 88 per cent. of 16-17 year olds in education and training at the end of 2008. Additional investment of £655 million allocated in Budget 2009 has enabled the number of post-16 learning places available this academic year to increase to all time high of 1.55 million. Young people also have access to a range of financial support such as the education maintenance allowance to help them engage in learning.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2008, Official Report, columns 747-51W, on geography: GCE A level, how many and what percentage of the maintained mainstream schools that did not enter any pupils for an A level examination in geography entered at least one pupil for an A level examination in (a) media studies, (b) communication and culture and (c) sociology. 
(a) 116 (49 per cent.) entered at least one pupil for an A level in media, film and TV studies.
(b) 8 (3 per cent.) entered at least one pupil for an A level in communication studies.
(c) 141 (59 per cent.) entered at least one pupil for an A level in sociology.
The figures relate to 16-18 year olds in maintained mainstream schools that were published in the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables in 2006-07 and had A-level candidates.
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of students in comprehensive schools achieved
GCSE English, English literature and mathematics at grade C or higher in (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker: Of those pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in comprehensive schools in England in 2008, 227,380 (42.4 per cent.) achieved a GCSE in all of English, English Literature and Mathematics at grade C or above.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of pupils who achieved a GCSE in core science and one of (a) geology, (b) psychology, (c) electronics, (d) astronomy, (e) environmental science, (f) environmental and land-based science and (g) human physiology and health at each grade were educated in the (i) maintained mainstream and (ii) independent sector in each year since 2007. 
Mr. Coaker: In this answer all of the given subjects have been interpreted to mean their scientific GCSE syllabuses only. For example, electronics does not include D&T and Electronics or any vocational electronics qualifications. Human physiology and health has been interpreted to mean human biology.
In 2007, there were only 17 pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving a GCSE in core science and at least one GCSE in geology, environmental science or human biology, both at grade A*-G. All of these pupils were educated in the maintained sector.
As can be seen from the table, only very small numbers of pupils in the independent sector are counted. Because of those small numbers, it is not possible to give figures for a breakdown into separate grades.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in which five non-core curriculum subjects the number of GCSE entries was highest in each (a) comprehensive, (b) selective and (c) partially selective local education authority area in 2009. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 14 September 2009]: For this answer, a comprehensive local authority has been defined as one where all pupils in the maintained sector are attending comprehensive schools, whereas a partially selective local authority has been defined as having between 0 per cent. and 25 per cent. of 13-year-old pupils on roll attending one or more selective schools. Finally, a selective local authority has been defined as having 25 per cent. or more 13-year-old pupils on roll attending one or more selective schools.
Excluding English, maths and science GCSEs, the five subjects with the most entries by pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in 2008 (the latest year for which figures are available) are given in the following table, for local authorities that are comprehensive, selective and partially selective.
|Rank in descending order of entries||1 . English Literature||2 . History||3 . Art and Design||4 . Geography||5 . Religious Studies|
|Rank in descending order of entries||1 . English Literature||2 . History||3. French||4. Art and Design||5. Geography|
Only full GCSEs are included in this analysis. English Literature has been included as a non-core curriculum subject because it extends beyond the literature content in core National Curriculum English programme of study. English GCSE covers both the literature and language content of National Curriculum English.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils eligible to receive free school meals have been entered for GCSE history in each year since 1997. 
|Number and proportion of pupils eligible to receive free school meals who have been entered for GCSE history in each year since 2002|
National Pupil Database (NPD).
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) persistent truants and (b) all pupils gained fewer than five A* to C grades at GCSE in 2008. 
Mr. Coaker: In 2008, 226,351 pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 did not achieve five A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent qualifications. This represents 34.7 per cent. of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4.
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