Top GCSE grades fall for students in North West but remain above pre-pandemic levels

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist Jahmal Williams-Thomas.

Students across the North West have spent the day picking up their GCSE results.

Statistics for the region show 18.6% of pupils achieved the top grades (7 or A grade), which is down from 23.1% in 2022.

The number of students who achieved the pass rate (4 or C grade) is also down to 64.8%, compared to 70.3% in 2022.

National figures show a similar pattern with the number of GCSE pupils achieving top grades falling from last year, but they remain higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students across the UK have been opening their GCSE exam results. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Over a fifth of UK GCSE students achieved the top grades – at least a 7 or an A grade – this year, down by 4.3 percentage points on last year when 26.3% of entries achieved the top grades.

However, this remains higher than the equivalent figure for 2019 – before the pandemic – of 20.8%. The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), cover GCSE entries from students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It comes after Covid-19 led to an increase in top grades in 2020 and 2021, with results based on teacher assessments instead of exams.

  • Zoe Morris, Headteacher of Chorlton High School

Headteacher of Chorlton High School, Zoe Morris, said: "I have to admit, we were nervous as well to, but it's turned out really well in the end. Our results are comparable to before the pandemic."

She concluded: "I think all too often we can look at headlines of grade boundaries changing, but they've worked hard and they really deserve this moment to celebrate with their families and with their teachers."

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