22/08/2013

GCSE Rates Show Slight Improvement

Students across Northern Ireland have woken up this morning to received the results of this year's GCSE examinations, which show a general improvement on 2012's grades.

The overall NI pass rate has shown a slight increase this year, with 99.2% of grades awarded at A*-G. Last year the pass rate was 99.0%.

76.5% of entries at GCSE in Northern Ireland achieved grades A*-C, a slight increase from 75.6% in 2012.

68.8% of entries in English and 64.6% in mathematics showed increases of 0.6 and 1.7 percentage points respectively.

At the top grades, A*-A, was awarded to 28.0% of entrants, a slight increase from 27.9% in 2012.

The A* grade was awarded to 8.7% of entrants compared to 8.9% in 2012.

Education Minister John O'Dowd visited Lagan College and St Genevieve’s High School in Belfast to meet with pupils as they collected their results.

He said: "Regardless of what decisions they make, I would like to offer my congratulations to all who received their results this morning on their achievements.

"There will be some who may not have received the grades they had hoped for. My advice to these young people is not to panic. There are a number of services available to help support and guide students on the next steps.

"Those staying on at school will be able to access a much wider range of courses than might previously have been the case. The Entitlement Framework, which becomes statutory in the coming school term, ensures all students at post-16, regardless of where they study, can access a minimum of 21 courses, both general and applied with clear progression routes to further and higher education, training and employment."

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: "The importance of making an informed decision following exam results is imperative to effective career planning. Taking time now to explore options will pay dividends in the future. If you did not achieve the results you expected, be they better or worse than anticipated, there are many other opportunities available to you and I would urge you to examine these fully. My Department’s Careers Service can help you unlock your potential.

"Northern Ireland’s further education colleges also offer you the opportunity to study from a wide range of full-time courses to suit your career path, with options including 'A' Levels, GCSE, NVQ and Apprenticeships. You may want to consider an apprenticeship, where you have the opportunity to develop specialist skills, using new technology, giving you the chance to earn while you learn and gain qualifications that are recognised worldwide. Training for Success can also provide you with an opportunity to gain the skills necessary for employment, letting you enter at the level that matches your needs, develops your employability skills and allows you to gain nationally recognised qualifications."

Those with queries on any issues relating to results should contact a local exam centre or the CCEA helpline on 028 9026 1260 or email helpline@ccea.org.uk.

(IT/CD)

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