Pass rate for GCSE’s up but top grades fall

With over five million entrants for this years summer exams, there have improvements in the majority of subjects.

The number of students achieving A* to C grades rose to 69.9 per cent, a small increase from last years results of 68.8 per cent.

Core subjects also saw an improvement, with the number of students achieving an A* to C grade in English rising by 3.7 per cent. Students achieving a C grade or higher in Maths also increased from 62.4 per cent to 63.3 per cent.

However, the number of top grades achieved fell slightly, as students achieving an A* grade falling by 0.1 per cent.

There was also a dip in results for students taking double science, but there were improvements in the individual science subjects of physics, chemistry and biology.

According to the exam boards, the positive changes in results can be put down to changing age ranges of GCSE entrants.

The government has clamped down on younger entrants, meaning there have been less 14 and 15 year olds participating in this years summer exams. With students who don’t achieve at least a C grade in English and Maths required to resit their exams, there have been more 17 year olds entered into this years tests.

Commenting on today’s GCSE results, Tim Thomas, Head of Employment Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said the results are promising for employers.

“Increases in English and maths attainment is exactly the news employers want to hear. Numeracy and literacy skills are vital for any path a young person may follow after secondary education.

“Many employers will want those who have excelled today to consider an apprenticeship rather than going down the conventional route to University. Manufacturers are ready to recruit an army of apprentices with two-thirds planning to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months. They will be looking for those with top marks today to step forward and take up these posts.”