This year’s GCSE results are out and show that the GCSE A*-C rate has increased to 69% – a 0.2 percentage points increase on last year.
Top grades across all subjects have declined slightly. Grade A*s made up just 6.6 per cent of results – a 0.1 percentage point fall compared to last year. The A grade rate remained the same, but B grades increased by 0.9 percentage points to 22.2 per cent across all subjects.
THE GOOD NEWS:
English and Maths
The proportion of grades A*-C in English and maths also increased this year.
The English pass rate rose 2.5 percentage points to 72.6 per cent. Maths up 0.7 percentage points, from 68.4 to 69.1 per cent.
It is the first year in which students who previously have not achieved a grade C in either subjects, but had continued onto post-16 study, were required to resit their exams.
The pass rate for 17 year olds (and over) dropped from 37.9 percent last year to just 35.1 per cent.
By contrast, the pass rate for 16 year olds leapt from 66 per cent to 72.6. However this doesn’t fairly compare numbers due to changes in the way modules are taken. JCQ state that a fairer comparison is the ‘full year’ comparison. Taking this number, 16 year olds still saw an increase in English – but the change was only 2.5 per cent.
THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS:
Unlike its core counterparts, science saw a decrease in the overall pass rate down 2.4 percentage points to 56.7 per cent.
A JCQ statement said that this shift in entry patterns and the ‘first entry counts’ policy had “probably saw some lower ability 15 year olds in 2014 defer entry in Science to 2015” and affected outcomes.
The decline in entries to single science subjects also continued, albeit at a less dramatic pace than in previous years. Biology declined 1.9 per cent, chemistry 3.3 per cent and physics 2.56 per cent.
All single sciences saw an increase in their pass rate.
Despite the government’s focus on languages in the English Baccalaureate, entries dropped across all subjects. French down 6.2 per cent, German 9.8 per cent and Spanish 2.4 per cent.
Pass grades increased across all subjects. JCQ said this possibly reflected “more able candidates continuing to study languages”.
Schools Week is analysing data for all subjects and will publish this morning. Check back for further analysis.