Tens of thousands of teenagers became the first to receive the results of tougher GCSE exams in English and Maths today.
For the first time they were awarded number grades instead of letters.
It's all part of reforms designed to raise standards.
Overall, passes dipped slightly - but for many pupils there was plenty to celebrate, as Christine Alsford reports.
The number of students getting the top GCSE grades has fallen, with the south east seeing the biggest drop in the country.
Around 60% of pupils at St John Fisher School in Chatham will continue their studies in the sixth form, either taking A Levels or BTECs.
The rest will enrol on college courses as the law states you must continue education until the age of eighteen.
Pupils in the South East are celebrating some of the best GCSE results in the country. Passes are up but top grades are down with seven out of ten students achieving A-star to C grades. Tom Savvides talks to students at St John Fisher School in Chatham and headteacher Catherine Burnett.
Students at Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville are celebrating after the number of A* - C passes at GCSE went up from 64% to 71%, including English and Maths.
23 students achieved 9 A or A* grades 3 students achieved 12 A* grades
Head teacher Matthew Quinn said he is 'delighted' with the rise in passing grades, and puts it down to the year being particularly competitive.
GCSE students whose exams last summer were marked on a harsher scale than the papers sat by their counterparts a few months earlier, have reacted with disappointment - after the High Court rejected calls for the papers to be remarked.
Our Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford has been following the story. The interviewees in her report are: Jo Landles - Vice Principal, Totton College; Caroline Santer - a teacher at The King's School; and Paul Johnson, Headteacher at The King's School.
How did GCSE students do in Kent and Sussex? Malcolm Shaw has our report.
Kerry Swain has our round-up for GCSE results in the West of the Meridian region.
Sherborne Girls in Dorset is celebrating another superb set of results, with 42 per cent of GCSE examinations passed at A star, 71 per cent at A star and A, and 90 per cent at A star, A and B.
Headmistress Jenny Dwyer said: “These results are excellent and richly deserved; the girls and staff can be justifiably proud. Our students have performed exceptionally well in the sciences, which is particularly gratifying as it’s less than a year ago that we opened our new science centre."
This year's Year 11 students at Tonbridge Grammar School are celebrating after receiving their GCSE results.
The proportion of grades at A* were at a record high of 47 per cent. The percentage of students with all results at A or A* was 81 per cent.
The school said it was delighted by some fantastic individual performances, congratulating Emilie Dommett from Tonbridge (12 A* grades and two grade A at AS), Eleanor Scopes from Edenbridge (12 A* grades and one grade A at AS) and Katherine Head from Marden (12 A* grades and two grade A at AS).