FEWER than one in five Solihull schoolchildren have met a new benchmark, backed by the Government.
League tables published last week show that only 16.6 per cent of GCSE pupils had achieved the newly-christened English Baccalaureate.
This is still ahead of the national average (15.6 per cent) but the gap is far smaller than when results are looked at as a whole.
At Langley School, four out of ten students cleared the benchmark, putting it top of the pile of Solihull’s state schools and among the best in the Midlands.
Pupils qualify for the Baccalaureate if they get an A*-C in English, maths, a language, a science and either history or geography.
But the comparator has been slated by some teachers, who argue that it’s not a formal qualification and “misleads” parents.
Councillor Norman Davies, cabinet member for children and young people, said it was a sound idea, but shouldn’t become the “be all and end all”.
“It does seem that it has been introduced rather quickly and I hope that it isn’t looked at to the exclusion of all else.
“There are many other subjects that are very important and they shouldn’t be ignored.”
When schools are ranked by how many pupils got five A*-C including English and Maths - with no restrictions on the other three subjects - the borough fares far better.
In total, 58.4 per cent of pupils managed this, compared to 53.8 per cent across the country.
This suggests that many schoolchildren are performing better in less-traditional subjects.