Pupils receiving their GCSE grades this 12 months ought to be happy with beating pre-pandemic achievements, regardless of moderators deciding that general grades would fall nearer to 2019 ranges than final 12 months.


Apart from the headline drop in grades in England, listed here are another key takeaways from right now’s batch of outcomes.

Boys slim the hole on ladies

The hole within the high grades between girls and boys widened in the course of the pandemic (the generally said cause for that is that ladies are likely to do higher at coursework). Nonetheless, this 12 months the gender hole closed to its smallest stage since at the least 2016, with a distinction of 5.8 proportion factors.

1 / 4 (25.3%) of the entries taken by ladies had been graded 7 or above (equal to A and A*), much like the 25.1% seen earlier than the pandemic. Nonetheless, 19.5% of boys’ entries obtained a high grade this 12 months – 0.9 factors increased than in 2019.


Line chart exhibiting that the hole between girls and boys dropped to its lowest stage below the brand new GCSE system

The gender hole in grades 4 and above (equal to what was C grades or increased) is much like final 12 months’s ranges – but in addition marks a giant decline in contrast with pre-pandemic.

The narrowing gender hole is especially pushed by boys doing higher than ladies in topics equivalent to maths, during which 22.1% of boys achieved grades 7-9, in contrast with 20.2% of ladies – the biggest hole since 2016. This 12 months was additionally the primary 12 months since 2016 that extra boys achieved a grade 4 or above (72.6%) in maths than ladies (71.9%).

London widens the hole on the north-east

Whereas the gender grade disparity has narrowed, the geographical one has widened. London normally performs higher than different English areas, and this 12 months was no exception. A complete of 28.4% of grades in London had been seven or above – 10.8 proportion factors greater than within the north-east (the worst-performing area for high grades). That hole has widened from 10.2 factors final 12 months, and 9.3 in 2019. Nonetheless, all areas are up at the least barely on what they achieved in 2019.

Chart exhibiting how the hole between English areas for high grades has elevated in contrast with 2019

The explanation for this widening hole might partly be right down to attendance ranges – preliminary figures present secondary pupils in London colleges had the very best common weekly attendance between September final 12 months and July this 12 months, whereas these within the north-east, south-west and Yorkshire and the Humber had the very best absence charges.

Inventive topics are out, statistics is in

Whereas the highest 10 topics haven’t swapped round a lot in contrast with final 12 months, others have had a bigger than common rise in entries.

Statistics entries had been up by 35% in contrast with 2022, adopted by social science topics (up 16%), enterprise research (up 14%), Spanish (up 12%), and computing (additionally up 12%).

Bar chart exhibiting that statistics and social sciences are among the many topics with the very best proportion progress in contrast with final 12 months

On the different finish of the desk, inventive topics equivalent to performing and expressive arts, music, drama, and artwork and design have had the largest drops.

Spanish closing the hole on French

That rise in Spanish helps preserve overseas language entries afloat. The variety of college students taking Spanish within the GCSE exams is at its highest stage since at the least 2016. Greater than 116,000 16-year-olds in England entered for the topic.

The 12% enhance marks the largest year-on-year progress since at the least 2016, and means Spanish is closing the hole on French (simply over 122,000 entries). Then again, German continues its decline, with solely about 32,700 exams this 12 months, a lower of three.8%.

Bar chart exhibiting Spanish is the fastest-growing language at GCSE, closing the hole with French

Entries in different trendy languages (which incorporates Chinese language, Polish and Italian) additionally rose final 12 months, up 2.5% in contrast with 2022.

Non-public colleges have misplaced their pandemic benefit

State colleges in England, academies, comprehensives, secondary moderns and grammar colleges outperformed their pre-pandemic leads to high grades and in move charges, whereas impartial colleges and free colleges had proportionally fewer high grades than in 2019.

Grammar colleges had 59% of their entries obtain grade 7 or above, whereas 47% of entries from personal colleges gained the identical. In the meantime 21% of entries from academies received one of many high grades, as did 19% of entries from comprehensives and center colleges.

Line chart exhibiting that college students attending impartial colleges in England achieved high grades at twice the speed of these attending state colleges

Through the pandemic, impartial colleges had a disproportionate increase within the proportion of examination entries reaching the highest grades, which seems to have been nullified by this 12 months’s outcomes. Nonetheless, most impartial colleges take a mix of GCSE and different equal {qualifications} equivalent to iGCSE that aren’t included in Ofqual’s information, making comparisons troublesome.

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