GCSE results show widening disparity between the north and south

This years GCSE outcomes have proven a widening hole between the grades achieved within the north and south of the UK.

  • Prime grades are nonetheless highest in London, with 32.6% of pupils attaining a grade 7 or above.  When in comparison with final yr’s outcomes, highest grades (7+) have fallen most in within the South West, adopted by the North West. They fell the least in London.
  • Outcomes are increased than pre-pandemic throughout all areas, however London has seen the largest will increase since 2019 adopted by the South East and East of England at 5.7%.

The autumn in high grades (7+) just isn’t as sharp as in final week’s  A-level outcomes, which noticed a lot higher grade inflation in the course of the pandemic. At A-level, leads to England, Wales and Northern Eire revealed high grades down by 8.4 share factors on final yr, whereas A*s alone decreased by 4.5 factors.

As with A-levels, the GCSE grade decline was anticipated, after Ofqual introduced that grades this summer time can be drawn at a midpoint between 2019 and 2021, with a full return to pre-pandemic grades anticipated subsequent summer time.

  • One other sample seen throughout each GCSE and A-level outcomes was that the largest drop within the high grades was at unbiased faculties, falling from 61% final yr to 53% this yr. At grammar faculties the quantity fell from 69% to 66%, and at comprehensives from 26% to 23%.
  • Jon Andrews, Head of Evaluation on the Training Coverage Institute, mentioned that college students must be “proud” of their achievements, however mentioned the important thing level the federal government ought to take-away from at this time’s outcomes is the north-south divide.

“Maybe extra noteworthy, nevertheless, is that this morning’s outcomes present the persevering with divide within the attainment ranges between totally different areas of England.”


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“Whereas it’s unclear the extent to which it is a continuation of long-term traits of regional disparities, our analysis has beforehand highlighted schooling within the north and the midlands to have been, on common, extra severely impacted by the pandemic than in different elements of the nation. It’s clear the Authorities should do extra to fight geographic inequalities in instructional outcomes.”

The Affiliation of Faculty and Faculty Leaders mentioned that mitigations must be put in place once more for 2023’s GCSE exams. They mentioned that subsequent yr’s cohort have additionally been “closely impacted” by the pandemic throughout their educating, main as much as these exams.