GCSE students in County Durham have gained an impressive set of results, despite the exams going through major changes this year.

The results – out yesterday – represent a major improvement on last year for County Durham students, especially in English and maths.

The old system of grading results from A* to G has been replaced with a numerical system, which assigns a mark between 9 and 1. 9 is the best grade and 1 is the worst.

A grade 4 is considered a ‘pass’ – roughly equivalent to the old C – whereas a grade 5 is considered a ‘good pass’.

62% of County Durham students received a grade 4 or above in both English and maths.

Durham County Council’s corporate director for children and young people’s services, Margaret Whellans, said, “We’d like to congratulate students for these brilliant results, which come amid the most significant changes in the exam system since O-levels were replaced in 1987.”

“GCSEs are now regarded as tougher as the national intention is that they be of the same standard as the highest achieving countries in education such as Singapore and Finland.”

“This makes our students’ improved performance on last year all the more pleasing.”

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said, “We are delighted that our young people have worked so hard to achieve these excellent results.”

“I congratulate them and the teaching staff in all of our schools.”

“It is hard for this cohort of pupils as they are the first to experience these tougher exams, but we hope future employees will take the time to understand and appreciate their efforts with the removal of coursework and more difficult questions.”

“We also recognise and greatly value the support and encouragement given by our schools, parents and carers.”

County Durham’s positive GCSE results come a week after the county’s youngsters achieved A-level results that were above the national average.

Students who didn’t get the grades they wanted, or who would like to access careers advice, can visit www.durhamworks.info. Here you can find information about apprenticeships, training and recruitment for 16-24-year-olds in all parts of County Durham.

(Featured image courtesy of Michael Coughlan from Flickr Creative Commons.)


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