Students in the south-east have outperformed the rest the country in their GCSE results. Tom Savvides talks to students in Kent and Sussex, councillor Michael Northey and Cassie Ellins, the Principal of Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate.
The director of the Joint Council for Qualifications said "underlying factors" affected the dip in GCSE results but praised the "upturn" in the number studying modern languages.
There are many underlying factors affecting this year's GCSEs, including a sizeable increase in entry by 15-year-olds, new science specifications designed with greater challenge, early and multiple entry in mathematics and an increase in the number of students taking IGCSEs.
All of these have had an impact on entries and results.
This year's upturn in languages will be welcomed across the education sector and beyond. Not since 2008 have there been this many entries in languages.
However, it remains to be seen if this is the start of a trend and if more students decide to continue to study a language at A-level.
– Michael Turner, Joint Council for Qualifications director
Science was hit by the drop in GCSE results despite more pupils studying biology, chemistry and physics.
There was a drop across the board in all three sciences - in biology, 89.8% of entries got at least a C, down from 92.6% last year, in chemistry 90% of entries scored A*-C, down from 93%, and in physics 90.8% reached this standard, down from 93.2%.
The decline in results for the separate sciences is partly down to bright students switching to IGCSE courses and an increase in the number of 15-year-olds, who tend to perform less well, taking the exams early, JCQ said.
It added that a general trend of more students opting for the three sciences, some of whom will have lower abilities in the subject, may also have had an effect.