School Standards Minister, Stephen Timms, has congratulated more than 600,000 GCSE and GNVQ students on their examination success – and urged them to stay on in learning. He praised students for their hard work and thanked those who had supported them throughout their studies.
The results announced today show that:
- passes at grades A*-C have increased by 0.5% to 57.1%.
- the percentage of GCSE entrants passing at grades A*-G remained at 97.9%
- GNVQ Part One entries have risen by 24.7%.
Stephen Timms said, “I offer my personal congratulations to the candidates receiving their results today – and to the teachers and parents who have supported them throughout their studies. Their achievements represent a welcome reward for their hard work and dedication.
“This year’s results are excellent and show that the GCSE continues to retain its value, particularly as an important progress check for young people. Better grades are a result of pupils working harder and a reflection of the first class support they receive from teachers. There is no evidence to suggest that standards are declining and we will continue to monitor them closely to ensure that this remains the case.
“I am pleased at the continued improvement of grades in mathematics. I am also pleased that the number of entries in English Literature, Information Technology and Science (Double award) are increasing. Short courses are increasingly popular and this year record numbers have achieved these qualifications.
“The increase in the uptake of Part One GNVQ courses shows the growing popularity of vocational learning. As we develop new vocational qualifications, students will have even more opportunities to broaden their studies and become better equipped for the workplace. Our goal is to maintain the highest standards for both academic and vocational learning and to continue reducing the number of young people leaving school without qualifications.
“GCSEs are a stepping stone to further opportunities after the age of 16. Many of today’s successful students will already be committed to a course in a college or school sixth form this autumn. I would urge the others, even if their results were not as good as they expected, to look at all the opportunities for further learning both in colleges and in the workplace on a Modern Apprenticeship.
“Young people wondering about their choices have many sources of support. The new Connexions Service, already operating in 12 areas in England, is providing young people with the advice and guidance they need. Over the next two years Connexions will expand to cover the whole of England. It will provide integrated information, advice, guidance and personal development opportunities for all 13 to 19 year olds.
“The BBC Student Essentials Helpline, staffed by Personal Advisers from Connexions amongst others, will be running until 24 August. We hope that this service will enable students to make informed choices about further education options following the results announcement. “