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.
Top grades are down - and many students have missed out on vital levels of achievements in key subjects as the demand for higher standards from GCSEs begins to bite. Tens of thousands of pupils across the region have been opening their results today.
Many have performed well despite the fact the bar has been raised with several harder exams, particularly in science. But for many subjects better scores have been needed just to get the same grades as last year. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.
Students from Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone collected their GCSE results this morning.
Cornwallis are celebrating another year of record breaking results with 58 per cent of students gaining 5 A*-C including English and Maths.
Academy Principal, David Simons, said: "We are delighted for all of the students who have worked so hard and their families who have been so supportive and we look forward to welcoming the students back into the Sixth Form in September."
Tens of thousands of pupils in the South and South East are receiving their GCSE results this morning amid fears that we'll see a drop in performance.
The regulator Ofqual has already warned schools and colleges that tougher new exams in science will mean students have to reach a higher standard to be awarded the same grades as in previous years.
There are more demanding qualifications in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Additional Science and Applied Additional Science.
It's part of government plans to raise standards and crack down on rising pass rates and high numbers of top grades. GCSE qualifications are set to be changed in the future to be based on final exams only with only limited opportunities for resits.
A particularly close watch is being kept on today's results on the Isle of Wight and in Medway - these local authorities were recently put under scrutiny by the school inspection body Ofsted for their poor performance.