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23rd Aug 2018 4:42pm News

GCSE 2018 results: Fifteen percent increase in GCSE Citizenship Studies amid growing concerns about narrowing of the curriculum

ACT congratulates students and teachers this increase and achievement!

Exam results out today (23 August) show a 15% increase in the number of students who took the full course GCSE in Citizenship Studies this year.

ACT congratulates teachers and pupils on their hard work, particularly in this first year of the reformed examinations.

This is the first significant increase since the Department for Education scrapped short course GCSEs in Citizenship and changed school performance tables. While this is good news for the subject, the number of pupils taking the qualification remains below 1% of the total cohort.

Today ACT has joined with five other subject organisations raising serious concerns about the narrowing of the curriculum leading to ‘factory farmed’ children who are being denied the opportunity of a broad and balanced education that prepares them well for life and work in the 21st Century.

In the joint statement released today, ACT Chief Executive Liz Moorse said,

“Recruiters such as Google are recognising that, while STEM subjects are important, wider knowledge and a broader skillset are equally important in a modern democracy and multicultural society.

“It’s vital that we safeguard against a narrowing of the curriculum that will leave students educationally impoverished, employers limited in their choice of candidates, and our society culturally worse off.”

ACT is also hosting a meeting with the exam boards, Ofqual and teachers to discuss the first year of the new qualifications in November.


GCSE Citizenship Studies has existed since 2001. Number taking the qualification peaked in 2009 when 94,000 students achieved the qualification. This was in part due to the existence of a short course qualification.

GCSE qualifications were reformed in 2014 and 2015 and this summer students sat the new style examinations.

2018 is the first year in which only full course GCSE Citizenship Studies was available. The short course qualification was phased out following qualification reforms.

GCSE Citizenship Studies is offered by AQA, Edexcel and OCR.

Today’s joint statement was released by the leaders of six subject organisations representing citizenship, religious education, art and design, design and technology and drama: Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT); Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC); National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE); The Design and Technology Association; National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD); and National Drama.