The Conservative Party has accused the government of sidelining traditional academic subjects, those with jobs in education
may be interested to hear.
Presenting figures suggesting the proportion of students getting five GCSEs including English, maths, science and a language has fallen since 2001, the opposition said less than a quarter now achieve C-grades or above.
Nick Gibb, the shadow schools minister, said: "The environment children face upon leaving education has never been so competitive, which makes it even more important to reverse this trend."
In answer to the criticism, schools minister Iain Wright said the percentage of children getting five strong GCSEs including English and maths had in fact risen; from 35.6 per cent in 1997 to 47.3 per cent in 2008.
Schemes to encourage the study of languages in schools have also been introduced, he added.
Earlier this month saw the Conservatives advocate a change to a Scandinavian-style education system.
The party announced plans to allow independent learning providers to set up schools, following the introduction of similar legislation in Sweden.