Boys narrow gap on girls in Sunderland in new-style GCSEs

Council portfolio holder Louise Farthing has congratulated Sunderland pupils for their achievements this year.
Council portfolio holder Louise Farthing has congratulated Sunderland pupils for their achievements this year.

Boys have closed the gap on girls across Sunderland in the newly-graded GCSEs.

Instead of being graded by letter, GCSE results for the English language, English literature have moved to a numerical scale of nine down to one.

According to the Department for Education, a grade four is aligned to what was previously a standard pass grade C, with grade five the equivalent of a strong pass grade C.

In Sunderland, Thursday's figures show:

* 55 per cent of pupils achieved grade 4 and above across the three newly-graded subjects;

* Boys narrowed the gap on girls this year with 52 per cent of boys and 57 per cent of girls achieving grade 4 and above in the three subjects:

As well as changes to the grading system, most exams are now taken at the end of the two-year course rather than on completion of modules as has been the case in previous years.

There are also more essay-style questions in the exams themselves, with exams themselves designed to be more challenging.

New-style GCSEs in other subjects will follow over the next two years.

Simon Marshall, director for education at Together for Children, the company which runs children's services across Sunderland, said: “I’d like to congratulate all our GCSE pupils, their teachers and support staff for the results they achieved this year.

"It is always a challenge to be the first to sit exams under a new system and I’m proud of our young people and schools alike for all of the hard work they have put in to achieve the results we have seen today.

“When examination grading systems change it can be difficult to accurately compare our results to those of previous years. But it is testament to pupils’ and teachers’ determination to

succeed that we have seen success stories in schools across the city.”

Councillor Louise Farthing, portfolio holder for children’s services at Sunderland City Council, said: “Congratulations and well done to all of our GCSE students this year and all of their teachers and support staff. There is much to be proud of in the city, all of which is paving the way for future success.

“Last week we saw a rise in our top grade A-level results, and there is an ongoing longer-term trend of improvements in our primary schools, which has seen them singled out for praise at a national level.”

Across the city, 2,698 pupils sat GCSEs in 19 schools.