GCSE results hold up in Lincolnshire

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GCSE results in Lincolnshire held up this year despite warnings of a national dip in performance levels from the government’s qualifications watchdog.

By last Thursday with five schools yet to declare their results, exactly 60 per cent of students have achieved 5A*-C grades including English and maths.

A total 14 schools achieved in excess of 90 per cent, with an outstanding 99 per cent of Caistor Grammar students achieving this standard. In Lincolnshire’s grammar schools, 49.5 per cent achieved 5 or more A* or A grades, an increase of 0.3 per cent on last year.

The Government has been keen to emphasise the importance of as many students as possible achieving A*-C grades in a broad range of academic subjects. The percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate across Lincolnshire is currently showing as 31 per cent for 2014 compared to 27.2 per cent last year: an increase of 3.8 per cent.

Overall there is difficulty comparing this year’s results with last year’s because of Government changes, with more to come next year. This year’s changes include:

Where a student has two attempts at an exam, only the first result will count in Government performance tables, even if the student gets a better grade second time around. The student can declare the higher grade when applying to colleges and for jobs.

A shift from short tests on individual modules to an end of course exam

Less coursework can count towards the final grade

In English, speaking and listening tests no longer count towards the final grade

Executive Coun for children’s services Patricia Bradwell said: “It’s been harder this year for students to do well than for a long time. Nevertheless, initial indications are that almost the same proportion of students as last year have achieved the 5A*-C standard including English and maths. That’s 60 per cent of student who have proved themselves ready for a higher level of learning at college, in a sixth form or in an apprenticeship. What a fantastic achievement! The Government has made lot of changes in a very short period of time. This level of success is an indication of the commitment of young people, teachers, parents and carers across the county.”

Director of children’s services, Debbie Barnes, said: “We have yet to see how the final figures will pan out. We can’t be sure that all the numbers we have received from schools take account of the new rules about counting only first-sitting grades. When schools mount appeals, results can change significantly. Qualifications watchdog OfQUAL warned of turbulence and we have certainly seen some variations.

“We continue to work with all our schools to ensure that any lessons from this year are learned and acted upon. Nevertheless, our students have done incredibly well to maintain such excellent standards with all these changes in the background.

Teachers, parents and carers deserve praise for their support and encouragement. My congratulations to all students and best wishes for your future plans.”

Next year, a whole swathe of more work-related courses will no longer be examined and those that remain will count for far fewer grades. New measures will be introduced besides 5A*-Cs.