There has been a drop in the proportion of GCSE exam entries awarded top grades, for the second year in a row.
About two-thirds of exam entries were graded between an A* and a C - a fall on last year. And the proportion getting an A* or an A fell from 22.4% to 21.3%. The overall pass rate also fell marginally, for the first time in the exam’s 25-year history.
The results have been released by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) showing, in English, the proportion of entries awarded A*s to Cs fell by 0.5 percentage points, to 63.6%. In maths, the fall was 0.8 percentage points. There was a big fall in pupils getting top grades in all the sciences, following the introduction of new syllabuses and exams.
This year 53.1% of science entries were awarded between an A* and a C, down from 60.7% last year. That drop - of 7.6 percentage points - was the biggest fall in top results across all the subjects.
The results also show an increase in those taking foreign languages and humanities at GCSE level.