Schools Reform Minister Nick Gibb said that changes to the exam system that are behind today's "variable" GCSE results are in the best interests of the pupils.
An exams system had developed that worked against the best efforts of teachers and the best interests of pupils.
These results show our plan for education is correcting that.
The number of children now taking exams at the right time, the number studying for academic GCSEs and the higher standards achieved are hugely encouraging.
More top news
A sailor has been rescued after two months lost at sea, during which he was forced to eat seagulls for survival.
Former Leicester City and England striker Frank Worthington is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, according to his daughter.
This is the sight that greeted one environmental conservationist - a deer with its head stuck in a light globe.