• Friday, September 22, 2023


UK announces GCSE and vocational results

GCSE results were higher than in 2019 and lower than in 2021.

Photo: iStock

By: Pramod Thomas

The GCSE and vocational results were announced on Thursday (25). It is the first time in three years that students have sat summer GCSE examinations after the Covid pandemic.

GCSE results were higher than in 2019 and lower than in 2021 in line with plans set out by Ofqual last year, a statement said.

Students will progress to one of a number of high-quality options including A levels, T Levels or an apprenticeship. From September there will be 16 T Levels available for young people to study, in subjects including digital, health, accounting, engineering and construction, offered at over 175 schools and colleges across England.

Just over three-quarters (75.3 per cent) of GCSE grades for 16 year olds in England are at grade 4 or above, up from 69.9 per cent in 2019 when formal exams last took place and down from 79.1 per cent in 2021.

Top grades for 16 year olds in England have also increased over 2019 as intended, with 27 per cent of entries achieving a grade 7 and above, up by 5.2ppt compared to 2019, and 3.0ppt lower than 2021.

“Students receiving their results today should be extremely proud, and I want to congratulate them all. The teaching profession has worked incredibly hard and these results are a testament to the resilience of both our students and staff,” said education secretary James Cleverly.

“We have the most exciting range of post-16 options for students to choose from now, whether that’s one of our exciting new T Levels, an apprenticeship or A levels. There is an option for everyone. I wish students the very best of luck, no matter what those next steps are.”

According to the statement, entries at grade 4 or above for 16 year olds in England were 77.2 per cent for GCSE English and 75.1 per cent for GCSE Maths. Attainment gap between boys and girls narrowed at the top grades when compared to last year. The proportion of Geography and History entries are up by 10.1 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively compared to 2019, bringing entries into EBacc subjects to nearly 4 million.

The proportion of grades at 7 and above in independent schools in England has dropped by 8.3ppt on 2021, compared to 2.4ppt in academies, narrowing the gap between the two groups at this grade· As many as 369,220 certificates across 141 qualifications have been awarded since March 2022, 96 per cent of which are Technical Awards taken alongside GCSEs.

Advance information on the content of some exams, formula sheets and content optionality for GCSE students were provided this year and vocational and technical students were given longer assessment windows, the statement added.

Under the National Tutoring Programme, the government offers up to 6 million tutoring courses. So far over 2 million courses have started. In AY22/23, government will provide £349m direct to schools to subsidise the cost of tutoring. The government is investing over £800m to increase time in schools and colleges at 16-19 around 40 hours a year from September for all students.

The additional funding schools receive to support pupils’ recovery will also nearly double for secondary schools from September 2022, with a typical secondary school set to receive £60,000 for evidence-based activities such as extra support with English and Maths, attendance initiatives and summer schools, as part of the £1bn recovery premium.

The government is investing nearly £5 billion to support students’ recovery from the impact of the pandemic, including £1.5 billion for tutoring programmes.

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