The misguided obsession with Stem subjects is to blame for the decline in English A-levels | Laura McInerney

If the government keeps steering students towards science and technology, where will all the English teachers come from?

In possibly the first known incidence of teenagers listening to politicians, it appears that 16-year-olds are rapidly abandoning the study of English. The three types of English A-level have seen their numbers decline by one-fifth over the past three years, with sciences up by the same amount.

Faced with the constant message from the government that science, technology, engineering and maths are everything, teens are opting for these subjects at A-level and university. It started with Nicky Morgan, who, as education secretary, made a speech in autumn 2014 urging young people to study science. “[In the past] if you didn’t know what you wanted to do … the arts and humanities were what you chose because they were useful … We now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. The subjects to keep young people’s options open are Stem subjects.”

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