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.

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Exeter GCSE pupils buck national trend

It has been a day of celebration, relief and even disappointment for households across the west country with GCSE results published.

Nationally, results have fallen for the second year running.

But as Richard Lawrence found out at West Exe College in Exeter, they have been bucking the trend.

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Devon headteacher speaks out over 'political pressures'

The headmaster of one of Britain's top achieving schools has seen his pupils improve yet again, despite what he brands 'political pressures'. Paul Evans, Headteacher of Colyton Grammar School in Devon, saw his school top the national league table for GCSE last January.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of our public examinations due to the political pressures to tighten standards nationally. In a year when we are told it is more difficult to achieve top grades, we increased the A* and A grades. It is a great relief to see that through hard work and determination, our students have maintained high standards and delivered the results that will set them up well for six form study and beyond.

No one should underestimate the effort required to achieve high numbers of top grades across a range of subjects and the students should be very proud of what they've managed to achieve."

– Paul Evans, Headteacher, Colyton Grammar School

More than half the year group achieved five or more top A* grades in a year when 49.4% of the GCSE grades obtained at the school were A* which was up 4.1% on last year.

He said 83.4% of all GCSEs awarded to Year Ten students taking GCSE at Colyton this summer were graded A8 or A - which was 2.7% higher than last year. Eleven pupils - seven girls and four boys - achieved straight A* in 12 subjects.

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GCSE grades drop in English, maths and science

GCSE grades have fallen for a second consecutive year, with a drop in the proportion of entries scoring at least a C in English, maths and science.

  • In English, 63.6% of entries gained a C or higher, down from 64.1% last summer.
  • In maths, 57.6% of entries scored an A*-C grade, compared to 58.4% in 2012.
  • In Science, there has been a 7.6% fall in the proportion of entries awarded a C grade or higher.

The drop in English comes amid a rise in the number of younger students taking the GCSE exams, the Joint Council for Qualifications said.

The fall in Science follows a move by Ofqual to toughen up the qualifications after a 2009 report by the regulator found that the courses were too easy.

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