As someone who had a natural aptitude for languages and who struggled to get to grips with science subjects, I was educated at a time when it was still possible at the end of 2nd year to 'drop' subjects which held little interest for me and concentrate and expand upon those at which I excelled . The end result was a sizeable cluch of Highers (excellent grades) which enabled me to go on to study at university and embark upon my lifelong teaching career. (the old O Grade arithmetic has been sufficient to work out my pay, tax and weekly shopping bill - still nothing left at the end of the month) If I had been forced to continue with a range of subjects which did little to enthuse and for which I had little aptitude or interest, my qualifications would doubtless have been less impressive and my morale and enthusiasm for life long learning would definitely have suffered. In short, my ability to be a successful learner, confident individual and effective contributor wouldn't have got off the ground! Why force pupils to struggle along with subjects which hold little interest for them when they could be making better use of their time broadening their knowledge and skills in areas they are interested in and are going to experience success with? Surely 5 A passes is better than 2 A passes and 3 C's/fails? Or am I missing the point?