'Immense pride' in Sunderland pupils, parents and teachers on GCSE day after challenging year

Pupils, parents and teachers should be ‘immensely proud’ of the way they have handled disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, city leaders have said.

Stock image from Pixabay as students receive their GCSE results
Stock image from Pixabay as students receive their GCSE results

Teenagers across the country have been finding out the results of their GCSEs today following weeks of uncertainty over the handling of qualifications.

But early indications have suggested the pass rate for GCSEs in England had surged to 79% – up from 70% last year (2019) – giving many families reason to celebrate.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the pupils who received their GCSE results today and wish them all the very best for their future,” said Jill Colbert, chief executive at Together for Children (TfC), the organisation which runs children’s services in Sunderland.

“Pupils, parents and school staff alike have faced incredibly challenging circumstances over the past few months due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions and they should all be immensely proud of the way they have adapted during this time, ensuring our young people in Sunderland continue to learn and reach their potential.”

Earlier this week a government u-turn confirmed GCSE and A-level pupils would be awarded the marks estimated by their teachers – unless the computer algorithm originally intended to be used has produced a higher grade.

It followed an apology by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson for the ‘distress’ caused to families and teachers over the handling of results.

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak forced formal GCSE exams to be cancelled for the first time in the qualification’s history.

Cllr Louise Farthing, cabinet member for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “Coronavirus restrictions have placed huge pressure on students and schools, but your continued dedication and achievements should be celebrated, and you should all be very proud of yourselves.”

Now that they have their grades, pupils will be able to turn their attention to their next steps into employment or further education and training.

Anyone aged 13-18 can access Together for Children’s Careers and NEET Service for more advice on options.

It is also available up to age 25 for anyone with a special educational need or disability and an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Colbert added: “Together, we help you to decide what your next steps will be.”

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