'Underlying factors' behind GCSE results fall

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

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GCSE grades fall for second year

The proportion of GCSEs awarded at least a C grade has fallen for the second year running, official figures have revealed.