From education to employment

GCSE Results Day: Sector Response

GCSE Results Day

#ResultsDay2022: Students collecting results today will progress to one of a number of high-quality options including A levels, T Levels or an apprenticeship. From September there will be 16 T Levels available for young people to study, in subjects including digital, health, accounting, engineering and construction, offered at over 175 schools and colleges across England. 

Just over three-quarters (75.3%) of GCSE grades for 16 year olds in England are at grade 4 or above, up from 69.9% in 2019 when formal exams last took place and down from 79.1% in 2021, in line with the policy intent set out last year.

Top grades for 16 year olds in England have also increased on 2019 as intended, with 27.0% of entries achieving a grade 7 and above, up by 5.2ppt compared to 2019, and 3.0ppt lower than 2021.

In line with the plans announced last autumn, and as part of the transition back to pre-pandemic grading levels, overall grades today are higher than in 2019 – recognising the unprecedented disruption students have faced – but lower than in 2021 when exceptional steps were taken to ensure progression.

Statistics published today also show:

  • Entries at grade 4 or above for 16 year olds in England were 77.2% for GCSE English and 75.1% for GCSE Maths
  • Attainment gap between boys and girls narrowed compared to 2021 at the top grades
  • The proportion of Geography and History entries are up by 10.1% and 5.7% respectively compared to 2019, bringing entries into EBacc subjects to nearly 4 million
  • The proportion of grades at 7 and above in independent schools in England has dropped by 8.3ppt on 2021, compared to 2.4ppt in academies, narrowing the gap between the two groups at this grade
  • 369,220 certificates across 141 qualifications have been awarded since March 2022, 96% of which are Technical Awards taken alongside GCSEs

Adaptations to Exams

Students were supported with a range of adaptations this year including advance information on the content of some exams, formula sheets and content optionality for GCSE students while some students doing vocational and technical qualifications were given longer assessment windows.

Some of the adaptions made by the Government are:

  • Advance information on the content of some exams.
  • Some GCSE subjects, including English literature, geography and history, were given a choice of topics or content which the students would then be assessed on.
  • For GCSE mathematics, combined science, and physics students, formulae or equation sheets in the exam room’s were provided. 
  • A spaced out exam timetable which had at least ten days before the first and last exam in every subject.

This is alongside continued support from our National Tutoring Programme, through which we are offering up to 6 million tutoring courses over the lifetime of the programme. So far over 2 million courses have started. In AY22/23, government will provide £349m direct to schools to subsidise the cost of tutoring.

In recognition of the greater gaps in older pupils’ learning and the lower amount of time those pupils have left in education, the government is investing over £800m to increase time in schools and colleges at 16-19 around 40 hours a year from September for all students.

The additional funding schools receive to support pupils’ recovery will also nearly double for secondary schools from September 2022, with a typical secondary school set to receive £60,000 for evidence-based activities such as extra support with English and maths, attendance initiatives and summer schools, as part of the £1bn recovery premium.

Education Secretary James Cleverly

Education Secretary, James Cleverly said:

“Students receiving their results today should be extremely proud, and I want to congratulate them all. The teaching profession has worked incredibly hard and these results are a testament to the resilience of both our students and staff.

“We have the most exciting range of post-16 options for students to choose from now, whether that’s one of our exciting new T Levels, an apprenticeship or A levels. There is an option for everyone.

“I wish students the very best of luck, no matter what those next steps are.” 

Sector Response

Mary Bousted

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Today’s results are a testament to the hard work of students over a highly disrupted couple of years. The support of parents and the commitment of schools to their students, should also be praised. 

“Students and parents deserve better of a government that was so unwilling to heed the advice of unions who early on identified the pitfalls within its Covid strategy on exams. As with A-Levels last week, NEU members believe that ministers were slow to recognise the support that was needed by schools and colleges through the effects of the pandemic. The disruption to face-to-face teaching time was often significant, and simply providing revision lists for exams did not take sufficient account of this.  

“In the few, but not enough, subjects, where topic optionality was introduced, NEU members reported that the mitigation was on the whole useful and helped prioritise teaching and learning. As the NEU wrote in response to the proposals at the time, this measure should have been extended to a larger number of subjects.  

“It is totally unjustifiable that the government intends to use today’s results to rank schools in league tables. Even in a normal year league tables provide only a distorted picture of a school’s performance, and after two years of Covid their publication is grotesquely unfair. The decision not to publish tables for primary schools due to pandemic disruption should also have applied to secondaries. The government’s failure to do so indicates how little it has learned from the pandemic. To knowingly publish flawed data, even with caveats, will cause great stress amongst teachers and leaders and has the potential to mislead the public. The government must come to its senses on this issue and not publish these tables.

“All of the issues coming to the surface today are caused by a broken system. Testing all 16-year-olds, almost exclusively via exam, is a relic of a time when education or training were not, like now, compulsory until the age of 18. England’s assessment system is backward-looking and not fit for purpose. Assessment must provide a more rounded picture of every student – in order to do justice to everything of which they are capable, but also to better set them up for life and work in the 21st century.

“From an administrative perspective, there are clear structural issues which seed problems down the line. The exams system is now overloaded such that the exam boards are struggling. The non-payment to exam markers has caused great frustration. The delays to the release of some AGQs last week was unacceptable, and we hope that there won’t be a repeat with AGQs this week.

“Covid has exposed the current high-stakes regime as both vulnerable and misguided. NEU members have joined with parents, students, academics, employers and policy makers from across the political spectrum via the Independent Assessment Commission, to call for the modernisation and improvement of assessment and qualifications in England. A system based entirely on exams should be consigned to history, and there is a broad consensus for change.”

David Phillips, MD City & Guilds and ILM

David Phillips, Managing Director of City & Guilds:

“As students receive their GCSE results, it’s no secret that their learning has been disrupted during a critical period in their education. Now, faced with a rapidly changing jobs market, a cost-of-living crisis and with a potential recession on the horizon, our latest research found that the majority (66%) of 14-16 year olds now want to stay in full-time education for longer to help them get better paid jobs in future – with 51% stating the cost of living has made them reconsider the type of career they might do after leaving school or college.

“So, as young people look to make a decision on their next steps for their final years at school or college, and with potential earnings and cost of living clearly a priority for younger people, it’s more important than ever that they understand the full range of options available to them, including which types of jobs are likely to be available when they finish their studies and what skills they will need to transition into these. Robust careers advice based on current labour market insight is essential to ensure that young people, parents and teachers are made aware of the full breadth of education and training routes, outside of just traditional academic ones, that can lead to rewarding and well-paid careers when they leave full-time education. With 85% of those who complete apprenticeships staying employed, vocational routes may offer more secure prospects for young people.”

Tom Bewick is the chief executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies and the presenter of the Skills World Live Radio Show

Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies said:

“The Federation warmly congratulates all those achieving Level 2 results this year. It is the first time, since the pandemic, that students have been able to sit externally marked assessments. These are the fairest means of ensuring that the attainment of every learner is referenced to national standards in these subjects. 

“The challenge, as ever, is in closing of the attainment gap. After 10,000 hours of formal education, today’s results show that too many pupils (in receipt of free school meals), have not been adequately supported to achieve the kind of grades demanded by tertiary education progression and a competitive labour market. The widening attainment gap is one of the reasons why the number of young people (aged 18-24) not in education, employment or training (NEET) is up from 707,000 in January 2022, to an estimated 711,000 today, according to the ONS.”

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“All those students receiving their results today deserve our congratulations. Their courses have been marred by disruption due to Covid-19, which has made things a lot tougher for them than for some previous years. We know from our members just how hard both students and school staff have worked to achieve today’s results.

“The impact of the pandemic has not been felt evenly by everyone – some students and some schools will have experienced more disruption than others. It is important that everyone bears this in mind and takes into account each student’s, and each school’s, particular circumstances.

“We hope that the issues experienced with BTEC and Cambridge Technical results last week are not repeated. Despite the differences in the arrangements for unit assessments due to the pandemic and the complexity this has created, the exam boards have a responsibility to ensure that results are issued on time for all students, whose next steps may depend on their result.

“It is now time to reflect and to make changes to our qualification system. The GCSE resit policy forces young people into a round of re-sits when an alternative qualification would better meet their needs. The absence of non-exam assessment in most subjects, the reliance on terminal exams and the existence of the EBacc performance measure create unnecessary barriers to success.

“Young people deserve a system which helps them to flourish and achieve in a wide range of academic and vocational subjects. The current GCSE system is not succeeding in doing that.”

Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:

“Congratulations to all pupils and schools receiving GCSE results today! You have every reason to feel proud of what you have achieved, and in very challenging circumstances too.

“It may feel like this is the first “normal” results day for a while, but we mustn’t forget that today’s grades are likely to reflect the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on different groups of pupils.

“It’s more important than ever that any attainment gaps that open-up this year are carefully monitored, so that support can be targeted at those pupils who need it most.

“We expect that this year’s results will show that entrenched education inequality has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with pupils from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds falling further behind their classmates.

“Tackling this attainment gap – and the factors behind it – continues to be the biggest challenge our education system faces.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary, ASCL

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“Congratulations to the hundreds of thousands of pupils collecting their results for GCSEs and vocational and technical qualifications today. They deserve great credit for all they have achieved in the most difficult circumstances imaginable – a global pandemic which has caused wave after wave of disruption to the education system over the past two years. Their teachers also deserve recognition for everything they have done to support these young people, often at the same time as juggling many other pressures over this turbulent period. They have shown enormous professionalism and commitment.

“GCSE grades are generally lower than last year when exams were cancelled and a different system of assessment was used, but higher than they were in 2019 when exams last took place. The fact that grades are generally lower this year compared to last year has nothing to do with the performance of pupils but reflects the decision by the government and Ofqual to move grading standards back to the 2019 standard in two stages, with this year representing a midpoint between 2019 and 2021.

“Moving to this midpoint was done to give these pupils more leeway than directly returning to the 2019 standard in order to mitigate the impact of Covid on their education. Adaptations were also made to exams for this reason. The government and Ofqual will now need to decide whether to put mitigations in place for next year. The strong indication we are hearing from school and college leaders is that this must happen because next year’s cohort will have also been heavily impacted by Covid. This is particularly important given the likelihood of more waves of infections during the autumn and winter.

“We were dismayed to see a statement yesterday from Pearson, the awarding body which runs BTECs, indicating that 7,000 pupils may face delays in receiving results for Level 2 qualifications today. This follows similar problems with Level 3 vocational qualifications last week. This is the last thing these young people need after so much disruption over the past two years. It is imperative that this situation is resolved swiftly and that this does not happen again. We are pleased that Ofqual has committed to reviewing what has gone wrong. It is clear that lessons must be learned.

“Most of the pupils receiving results today will now be moving into education or training in colleges and sixth forms. Their results will allow them to progress in the normal way into a wide variety of excellent courses. As happens every year, some pupils will not have achieved the grades they wanted. Our advice to them is not to panic but to speak to their teachers about the many options that are available to them in post-16 education which will help them to fulfil their ambitions and interests.”

Simon Carter, Marketing Director at leading education technology provider, RM:

“Resuming traditional exams after two years of disruption was always going to be a gradual process, so it is no surprise that this year’s GCSE results are significantly lower than during the pandemic where teacher-assessed grades determined them.  Following the news of a fall in A-level grades last week, it is clear that more work needs to be done to explore the way students are assessed.  Ultimately, there must be a clear sense of progression in the education sector, and we shouldn’t be moving backwards.

“At RM, we explore innovative assessment methods worldwide and are encouraged by examples of best practice from the likes of Finland – where there are no exams before pupils leave school, and New Zealand – who whilst retaining the concept of final exams, are looking to digital methods to administer them.  By implementing these different approaches, students are better prepared for the job market as their results reflect their skillsets as opposed to their ability to retain and regurgitate information.  In an economy currently in a STEM deficit, education is going to be crucial to the UK’s evolution and digital assessment could be the key to helping us future-proof the country’s skills sooner rather than later.”

Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

“The Conservatives have fiddled the figures and failed our young people yet again. Ministers have thrown into question thousands of students’ futures by taking their grades away to correct two years of exam chaos.

“Young people receiving their results today faced unprecedented disruption to their studies. The Government deserves an ‘F’ for letting down these pupils, their parents and their teachers since day one of the pandemic.

“This uncaring Conservative carousel of Education Secretaries cannot be trusted with our young people’s future any longer. We need proper investment in helping children recover lost learning from the pandemic, and we need them gone.”

Manny Gill, Business Head of PMI (Project Management Institute) in the UK, said:

“While many students across the country place high value on their GCSE results, how good a guide to future success in the workplace are exam grades? It is becoming increasingly clear that we need to do more to help young people acquire the transferrable skills needed to thrive in the workplace. Some groups have gone as far as suggesting the education system in England requires radical change.”

“Employers have always looked to hire individuals that are ready-made to excel but succeeding in today’s workplace requires different skills than in the past. There is now an increased emphasis on what have become known as soft skills – such as communication, creativity, emotional intelligence, leadership, and problem-solving – in favour of hard skills.  Yet, the school curriculum seems to be failing to encourage students to develop and refine these skills. This is leaving the next generation of workers with an uphill start.”

“At PMI, we have redefined soft skills as “power skills”, and through simple training – such as our short, free  KICKOFF course, which introduces these skills in an accessible and efficient way – we can ensure people begin learning these skills at a younger age, and setup our young people for success in the workplace of today and the future.”

Clare Loveridge, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Arctic Wolf:

“Today is an important day for GCSE students looking to take the next step in their education. However, it is key for students to remember that just because they have opted to pursue an A-level or further education course outside of STEM, it doesn’t mean they can’t have a successful future career in tech or cybersecurity.

“Businesses like ours are looking for forward thinkers, natural problem solvers and people who are up for the challenge. Therefore, it’s important those who are studying non-technical subjects are not discouraged from pursuing a career in the industry. Arctic Wolf has several opportunities for bright young students looking to kickstart their career in cybersecurity.

“Improving access to the cybersecurity industry should be a huge focus for businesses. By attracting a wider pool of talent, organisations open themselves up to more creative and alternative ways of thinking. These, in turn, can help contribute to the development of highly innovative solutions to the challenges facing the cybersecurity industry today – helping to protect organisations from an increasingly advanced range of cyber threats.”  

Ryan Gawn, Director at the LEGO Foundation:

“Today, students in the UK received their GCSE results, grades that could potentially change the course of their next few years as they decide on their next steps. Despite the importance placed on these results and the huge pressure felt by students, we must remember that it is holistic skills that employers increasingly value above all else – particularly outside of vocational roles. The ability to problem solve, work in teams, think creatively and critically, regulate their emotions and communicate effectively – these skills will help set them up for success in the workplace.

Currently, three in four young people lack the skills needed for employment (UNICEF), so it is critical that we shift attitudes and prioritise classroom activities that foster the development of these critical skills. We must encourage policymakers, students, parents and teachers to value these skills as highly as they value top exam grades. At all stages of education, schools should prepare children in ways that will make them more employable in the future, and ensure they thrive in the 21st century. This doesn’t just make sense for learners and employers, but also the economy. A recent report Catalysing Education 4.0: Investing in the Future of Learning for a Human-Centric Recovery | World Economic Forum ( shows that investing in these skills could add up to £26bn to UK GDP.

This year, students receiving their GCSE results have had their education adversely affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and school closures. More than ever, students should be proud of their results no matter what grades they received. For many, they’ve showed incredible resilience. Education systems have long-been focused on grades and numbers but what we really should be encouraging is the transformation of education systems. We must rebuild education systems to emphasise and encourage a modern learning environment that equips students with the skills they need to be creative, engaged, lifelong learners.”

Amy Walmsley, Craft Apprentice, BAE Systems:

“I left school at the age of 16, as I wanted to go straight into the working world and do a more hands-on job. I was always in my garage experimenting and making various things and in school I enjoyed design technology and art. I applied for a Craft Apprenticeship at BAE Systems and haven’t looked back. For those getting their results today who might be feeling the same way that I did, I would say just to go for it! Don’t underestimate an apprenticeship as an alternative to higher education, when thinking about your options. Particularly given the advantages of debt free on the job learning, a competitive salary and a guaranteed job.”

Green Party education spokesperson Vix Lowthion said:

“Congratulations to the Class of 2022 GCSE students for gaining their grades today after years of disruption due to the impact of the pandemic. They have achieved despite the challenges and obstacles and should be commended for their determination.

“Of course, the pandemic has had a long-term impact on the educational attainment of our young people, but the ‘disadvantage gap’ that researchers have identified is not only the result of Covid. It is also the result of years of school cuts, increasing levels of poverty and hardship experienced by families under this Conservative government.”

Lowthion, a teacher on the Isle of Wight, added:

“We rightly congratulate many thousands of students and teachers for getting fantastic grades, but the GCSE exam system also leaves too many young people behind who have struggled to attain the results to help them take their next steps.

“We need an education and assessment system that supports all students to have the opportunity to achieve, have second chances for those who need extra support and doesn’t leave anyone behind.

“There are many accounts of well-deserved achievements by our young people today after many months of hard work by staff and students, but the widening ‘attainment gap’ in the last 20 years (1) identified by the Institute for Fiscal Studies means that every GCSE results day there are disadvantaged young people who are less likely to succeed.”

Young Greens co-chair Kelsey Trevett said:

“Congratulations to all those collecting results this morning. GCSE students have experienced government negligence throughout this pandemic, consistently putting their well-being, health, and education secondary to economic growth.

“The resilience shown by school pupils is admirable, and students should be incredibly proud. 

“We reiterate our frustration at the missed opportunity to reform school assessment away from an unfair and unrepresentative exam model. And we will continue to fight alongside students for the radical educational overhaul which is necessary to prepare them for the future they are inheriting, and which values learning and education independently of its capacity for profit making.”

Robert West, Programme Director for Creative & Cultural Skills

On GCSE results, Robert West, Head of Education and Skills Policy, said: 

“We’d like to commend all of those students that are receiving their GCSE results today. The last two years have been really tough for students, given the disruption caused by Covid-19, so each and every one of you should be particularly proud of your accomplishments.  

“The push back on Covid-related grade inflation will mean lower grades for many, but whatever your results, remember there are options and paths available for everyone.” 

On the growth in science entries, Robert said: 

“It is great to see STEM subjects like biology and the double award science GCSE growing in popularity, as firms face heightened demand for skills in STEM areas. An increase in GCSE entries for business studies is also welcome. 

“We need to ensure that our future talent pool includes those currently under-represented in the STEM workforce, by continuing to encourage young people from a broader range of backgrounds to take up STEM subjects and careers.  

“With male students continuing to outperform their female counterparts in maths, physics and economics at GCSE level, we also need to look at better promoting STEM options to female students and supporting them through that journey.” 

On the need to tackle education inequalities, Robert said: 

“This year’s exam cohorts have experienced more disruption to their schooling than perhaps any other, with disadvantaged pupils having faced particular adversity for long periods. We need to get serious about reducing inequality and addressing child poverty if the government is to fulfil its ambitions for ‘levelling up’ across the country. 

“Employers need to play their part too by supporting schools and colleges and ensuring their recruitment practices are fair and inclusive. 

“Young people not reaching their full potential has consequences for our economy – without a robust talent pipeline we will continue to struggle to address skills shortages.” 

On regional differences in results, Robert said: 

“Students have had a particularly challenging few years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every school has experienced the pandemic differently. Year 11 students in northern regions missed around 15% of school sessions, compared with around 11% in the south. 

“Education institutions, as well as employers, must recognise that students from certain areas may have faced bigger barriers than others, and take this into account when assessing results.” 

On the need for better careers advice, Robert said: 

“All students will now be thinking carefully about their next steps, however we know that many teachers do not feel well equipped to give careers advice.  

“The Government must invest in careers hubs and teachers’ CPD to ensure that school leavers are provided with the right guidance to make informed choices.” 

On BTEC results, Robert said: 

“Congratulations to those learners who are amongst the 235,000 BTEC Firsts, Technicals and Tech Award grades due to be released today. However, it is obviously concerning that some may not get their results as expected.  

“The exam board Pearson has said that a dedicated team will be working hard to provide any missing results. We hope that can be achieved as quickly as possible to alleviate the obvious stress and anxiety caused by the situation.”  

Steve Haines, director of youth charity Impetus:

“Beneath today’s headlines the statistics show a terrible waste of potential.

“Our research has found that achieving English and maths GCSEs is vital for young people to progress in education and secure sustainable employment – it is also linked to greater access to university and higher pass rates when young people get there. 

“But each year tens of thousands of teenagers miss out on the crucial qualifications they need. 

“Pass rates for English and maths GCSE are only at 65% nationally. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are half as likely to achieve these grades as their better off peers. For young people in alternative provision, pass rates drop further to a shocking 6.5%. 

“We must make sure that all young people – regardless of their background – are getting the support they need to pass their GCSE maths and English at 16. Everyone deserves the chance to succeed in school, work and life, but until we address the disadvantage gap at GCSE, every year we will see too many young people’s potential wasted.”

Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility from the University of Exeter, said:

“These results reveal the stark academic divides that define our school system, with GCSE entries from independent schools still twice as likely to be graded 7 or A and above than entries from state academies (53% versus 25.6%). This gap has increased slightly compared with 2019 when GCSEs were last taken (rising to 27.4% gap compared with 26.3%).

“We have to ask ourselves whether an academic system that leaves over a third of pupils failing to reach a standard pass in maths, and just under 3 in 10 pupils failing a standard pass in English, is adequately serving our children and society.  After 12 years of schooling, a third of pupils are lacking the basic levels of literacy and number skills need to function and flourish in life.

“This year 65% achieved a grade 4/c or above in maths while 70.25 achieved a grade 4/c or above in English language).  It also shouldn’t be the case that the chance of achieving a basic pass varies so much by where children happen to live.

“This year’s national reference test also suggests a fall in maths standards compared with 2020 when the test was last undertaken, while the results for English are inconclusive. This fall in standards is likely to be due to the unprecedented missed schooling suffered by this cohort during the pandemic.”

Agata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA, Skillsoft

Agata Nowakowska, Area Vice President EMEA, Skillsoft:

“Following last week’s A Level results, it’s excellent to see that this year’s GCSE results are showing a different picture, with the number of girls taking Computing and Engineering increasing by 4.32% and 8.35%. The increased investment in encouraging girls into the sector is paying dividends, and we must keep that momentum going. 

However, whilst it’s wonderful to know that the many programmes and initiatives supporting girls are working, female students remain outnumbered in most STEM subjects. Schools must continue to find new ways to keep girls engaged in STEM as they age. Businesses also have a part to play and should work to showcase female role models, organise technology-related events and consciously target girls in their recruitment efforts. 

Furthermore, with the UK’s economic future contingent on closing the skills gap, these figures highlight the need for further investment in initiatives to support and encourage young people into the sector. Schools and businesses need to work in tandem to showcase the career paths available and offer young people a clear way to gain the vital skills needed. It’s also essential to support organisations such as In2scienceUK, which are working to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into STEM. At the end of the day, investing in the youth is an investment in the future.”

Jon Andrews, Head of Analysis at the Education Policy Institute, said:

“Pupils receiving their GCSE results today have overcome significant disruption over recent years, which they should be highly commended for. A result of Ofqual’s strategy to gradually bring grades back to pre-pandemic levels, results for the 2022 cohort are lower than in 2021 by around 3.8 percentage points, but still remain above those from 2019.

“Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is that this morning’s results show the continuing divide in the attainment levels between different areas of England. Around a third of grades achieved by pupils in London were at grade 7 or above, while in the north and the midlands it’s under a quarter. While it’s unclear the extent to which this is a continuation of long-term trends of regional disparities, our research has previously highlighted education in the north and the midlands to have been, on average, more severely impacted by the pandemic than in other parts of the country. It’s clear the Government must do more to combat geographic inequalities in educational outcomes.”

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

“Pupils getting their GCSE results should feel proud of their achievements. Today’s results are a testament to the hard work of pupils and teachers in the face of continued disruption.

“We are still seeing some regional inequalities, with London and the South East continuing to get the highest levels of top grades. But it is good to see that the inequalities in today’s GCSE results are less pronounced than for the A-level results last week.

“Despite positive news, the impact of the pandemic is far from over, and the focus must be on catch-up. Schools and colleges should be well funded to enable disadvantaged youngsters through their next steps into post-16 education. We must make sure that this winter, young people’s education prospects are not negatively influenced by the cost-of-living crisis.”

Conservatives are holding back our kids, Labour warns, as private schools see a 25% bigger jump in top GCSE grades

Labour has warned that the Conservatives are holding back our kids as GCSE results data show a greater increase in top grades at private schools compared to their state counterparts, since 2019.

More than twice as many grades given out in private schools are at grade 7 or above compared to secondary comprehensives, with private schools seeing a 25% bigger jump in top GCSE grades since 2019.

There are also growing concerns about regional inequalities with the number of grade 7s awarded in London having risen 50% faster than in Yorkshire or the North West.

This echoes the inequalities seen in A-level grades, and highlights the Conservatives’ utter failure to tackle attainment gaps seen across the education system. Labour has pledged to end tax breaks for private schools and invest that money in putting more teachers in our schools and giving staff the training and support they need to help every student thrive.

Meanwhile students receiving BTEC results face further disruption after exam board Pearson admitted some students will not receive results today. Labour has demanded an investigation into the debacle over technical qualifications with some level 3 students still awaiting grades a week since their results were due out.

Overall, today’s grades are down compared to 2021, but are above the midpoint between 2021 and 2019, prompting concerns that next year’s students could see an even greater drop in grades.

Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister

Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said:

“Students receiving their results today have worked incredibly hard through unprecedented disruption.

“Yet the Conservatives are holding back our kids, enabling the gap in grades between state and private schools and across different parts of the country to grow.

“Labour set out an ambitious recovery plan – including small group tutoring, mental health support, and before and afterschool clubs – that young people need to thrive. The Conservatives’ recovery advisor resigned in despair warning the Government risked failing hundreds of thousands of children. Worryingly, his warnings are coming true.”

Julian Gravatt, Deputy Chief Executive, Association of Colleges (AoC)

Julian Gravatt, AoC deputy chief executive said:

“This is an exciting time as students take their next steps in education and a huge congratulations to all those receiving their GCSE results today who will be starting at college in September.

“Results day can also be hugely daunting and stressful if you did not get the grades you need. It is important to reassure students that there are options available no matter what your grades are and a great first step is to speak to your local college to find out what your options are.

“There are also thousands of students in colleges who got results today from their English and maths resits. There will be students who missed out on the grade they needed this time and will need to resit again in the autumn. These students should not feel like they have failed and should be supported to succeed with their next steps.”

Magda Wood, Chief of Learning, Micro:bit Educational Foundation, said:

“While it’s encouraging to see computer science GCSEs steadily grow in popularity, with entries up 2.4%, addressing the striking gender imbalance needs to be higher on the education world’s agenda. After all, it’s not a question of lacking the ability or enjoyment – girls have continued to outperform boys when they do take computing, and our experience shows female students enjoy computing as much as their male counterparts. Girls often have more choice in picking subjects at GCSE level, so it is imperative society better communicates the value and options digital skills give to women and young girls.

If we’re to truly address tech’s ge​nder imbalance, we need to start even earlier than GCSE. In primary schools, we are seeing progress. We know that the younger we can engage girls in technology, the better, and that tactile computing tools drive motivation to learn with all children and are very popular with this gender. Female primary school teachers, who make up most of the profession, are becoming increasingly positive role models in teaching digital skills, giving young girls the skills and confidence to pursue their computing education to GCSE and beyond.”

Related Articles