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.
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Sunny and dry for most on Monday although rain affects much of Ireland.