There was a 17.6% increase in the number of candidates sitting the full course GCSE in Religious Studies (RS) in June 2011, compared with the summer before, according to results released today by the Joint Council for Qualifications, and covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland (there is a separate Scottish Qualifications Authority).
Entrants for the full course were 221,974 (almost double the figure of 119,550 in 2001). This represented 4.3% of papers sat in all subjects (up from 3.5% in 2010 and 2.1% in 2001). The proportion of female candidates in RS was 54.3% (50.9% for all subjects). A*-C passes were achieved by 73.3% of RS full course examinees and by 69.8% in all subjects.
In addition to the full course, there is also a short course GCSE in RS, which attracted 257,793 candidates in June 2011 (7.9% fewer than the previous year but well above 165,520 in 2001). Male and female entrants were almost evenly balanced. Grades A*-C passes were obtained by 52.4% in RS, which was 1.3% below the mean for all subjects.
For the full set of results for these and other qualifications, with disaggregations by gender and home nation, see:
As intimated in our report on A Levels – http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/?p=1382 – the Government decision to exclude RS from the 2011 eBaccalaureate (eBacc) may contribute to halting the steady growth in numbers taking GCSE RS.
The recent survey by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education – covered at http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/?p=1342 – seems to have found evidence that this may already be happening.