Boys have closed the gap on girls achieving top grades in English literature and language, and moved further ahead in maths in the results of the newly reformed GCSEs.
Last year, girls held a 3.9 percentage point lead over boys in English literature in achieving A*s. When comparing to the new grade 9 this year, that gap has reduced to 2.7 points – though girls are still ahead.
For English language the gap has fallen from a 2.7 percentage point lead for girls, to a 2.2 percentage point lead.
This trend has continued in Maths as boys, who enjoyed a 0.7 percentage point lead last year, increased the gap to 1.1 percentage points.
However, girls still earned the overall majority of the roughly 50,000 grade 9 grades that were awarded, receiving around 30,000, roughly two thirds of all 9s.
A spokesperson for the Joint Council for Qualifications, which oversees exam boards, said that the more challenging reformed qualifications “enable the better differentiation of students at the top grades”.
Sharon Hague, senior vice-president of the exam board Pearson, praised those who managed to achieve the 9 grade.
“The young people achieving those grades are among the best in the country,” she said. “It’s something they should be proud of.”