GCSE Grades Fall Slightly as New Changes Come Into Force

Nick Gibb

The overall pass rate for GCSEs has fallen to 66.3% from 66.9% as the first wave of new GCSE exams marked with a new 1-9 system are introduced. The pass rate for English literature fell to 72% from 74.5%, but the pass rate for Maths improved from 61.5% to 68.9%.

The Maths and English exams were given marks on a scale of 1 to 9, with grade 7 representing the former A-grade standard and 4 representing the former C-grade standard. Other GCSE exams will also change in future years, with all GCSEs by 2020 being marked using the new system.

Nick Gibb, the Schools Standards Minister, said:

“Today, hundreds of thousands of 16-year-olds find out the results of 2 years or more of hard work and study. They will now move onto the next phase of their education well equipped for what lies ahead and I would like to thank their teachers whose dedication and hard work has helped them achieve success.

The government’s new gold-standard GCSEs in English and maths have been benchmarked against the best in the world, raising academic standards for pupils. These reforms represent another step in our drive to raise standards, so that pupils have the knowledge and skills they need to compete in a global workplace.

The fruits of these reforms will be seen in the years to come, but already pupils and teachers are rising to the challenge with more than 50,000 top 9 grades awarded across the new GCSEs and more than two thirds of entries sitting the tougher English and maths exams securing a grade 4 or C and above – a standard pass.

As we saw with last week’s new A-levels, we are beginning to see our reforms translating into higher standards, improving opportunities and the life chances of millions of young people and helping to fulfil the voracious demand for knowledgeable and skilled young people from Britain’s dynamic and growing economy”.