There has been a revival in the number of pupils studying modern languages and humanities in English secondary schools, figures released by the government have revealed.
Concerns have been raised that the number of pupils taking key subjects like geography, history, French and Spanish was falling, but Department for Education (DfE) data shows that the subjects are experiencing a comeback.
According to a report in the Independent, the number of hours secondary school teachers spend on the subjects has risen by an average of ten per cent in the last year.
Geography saw the biggest rise, with teachers now spending 13 per cent more time teaching the courses than in the previous year.
The statistics reveal that in the last year a total of 3,400 additional teachers taught the subjects to their pupils.
This equates to a 23,000-hour increase in the total teaching time spent devoted to the three areas.
Minister for Schools Nick Gibb told the news provider: "Today's figures show an encouraging trend that reflects the fact that schools are offering more of these core academic subjects."
The shift may also suggest that Michael Gove's decision to introduce the English Baccalaureate is paying dividends.
Any GCSE student achieving five good GCSE results in the three core subjects plus a foreign language and either geography or history is awarded an EBacc.
The figures come just after the release of DfE figures which appear to show that the number of teachers employed in the state system has fallen.
DfE data shows that there are now 438,000 teachers in the maintained school sector, a fall of 10,000 on previous figures.
However, the government has attributed the decline to the rise in academies, with many teaching jobs now lying outside local authorities and no longer included in the numbers.
Newly-released government figures also show that absence has fallen from 6.27 per cent to 6.04 per cent.
Posted by Theo Foulds