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County Durham schools celebrate GCSE success

Published August 22, 2019 4.29pm

Pupils have been praised for their GSCE results, as County Durham continues to perform strongly in the face of major changes to the exam system.

Icon for pdf Durham pupils' exam success video transcript (PDF, 61.7kb)

Schools across the county have maintained their success from last year and there has been significant improvements in the academic performance of disadvantaged pupils.

The results are set against ongoing reforms to the GCSE system, with the majority of GCSE courses now giving pupils a 1-9 grade. A level 4 is deemed as a 'pass' which is similar to the old 'C' grade and level 5 as a 'good pass. There has also been a shift away from coursework, meaning more weight is given to the final exams.

Results across England have been in a state of flux since the first wave of reforms, and grades for all regions took a dip in 2017 when the new maths and English qualifications were introduced.

Maintaining success

In County Durham, the proportion of pupils achieving success at grade 4 and above in both English and maths is 60 per cent. This matches last year's performance, which was a significant improvement from 56 per cent in 2017. The average attainment score for both subjects has also increased.

The overall attainment 8 score for pupils, meanwhile, has risen again to 44.7 from 44.4 last year. This is a measure of a pupil's average grade across a set of eight subjects. Disadvantaged attainment 8 has significantly improved to 40.4 compared to 35.5 in 2018.

Hard work rewarded

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, our Cabinet member for children and young people's services, said: "We are delighted our young people have achieved such good results. The system has been changed significantly in recent years, with the removal of coursework and more difficult questions increasing the pressure on pupils during the exam period.

"These results are testament to how hard our young people have worked. They also reflect the commitment of our teaching staff and the invaluable support provided by parents, carers and other family members.

"GCSEs are important but if you did not get the results you want, please do not worry. There are many paths to success and support is available, so make sure you seek advice and access the help on offer."

Support on offer

Pupils who did not receive the grades they hoped for and those looking for careers advice can visit the DurhamWorks website where they will find information on apprenticeships, recruitment and training for 16 to 24-year-olds across the county.


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