GCSE students are being encouraged to sit exams in so-called soft subjects rather than core academic subjects such as English, maths and science, new data has revealed.
Figures released by the Department for Education, following a parliamentary question from Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, show that the number of pupils taking GCSEs in tough subjects has halved over the last decade.
In 2010, 141,000 teenagers sat GCSEs in English, maths, science, geography, history and a language, compared to 293,000 in 1996.
It was revealed that students attending independent schools are more likely to study academic subjects than those in state schools.
In addition, it was found that there has been a 3,800 rise in the number of non-academic qualifications being handed out in the last seven years.
This year's GCSE results will be released on Thursday (August 25th).
The government last year introduced its English Baccalaureate qualification, which is awarded to GCSE students gaining A*-C grades in core academic subjects.