Pupils in Sunderland forge ahead with their GCSE results
Sunderland is celebrating a rise in students clinching the top grades in maths and English.
Pupils from across Sunderland are celebrating their GCSE results and the city has seen a jump in results across three core subjects.
Across Wearside 59% of students gained a grade 4 or above in English literature, language and maths, a rise of 4% on last year.
And, the number of pupils gaining a grade 5 or above in these subjects has risen by 6%.
Together for Children, which runs the education services for Sunderland City Council, said figures also show boys further narrowed the gap on girls this year, with 56% of boys and 62% of girls achieving grade 4 and above in English and maths.
A total of 2,461 pupils sat GCSEs in the city and the improved figures come in the second year of the new numerical grading system, which has this year been implemented for the first time across the wider curriculum.
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.
As well as changes to grade, 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.
Jill Colbert, Chief Executive at Together for Children, said: "I’d like to congratulate all our GCSE pupils, their teachers and support staff for the results they achieved this year.
"It is a fantastic achievement to see such improved results and even more so at a time when a new grading system is still bedding in.
"I’m extremely proud of our young people and our schools alike for all of the hard work they have put in to achieve the results. It is testament to pupils’ and teachers’ determination to succeed that we have seen success stories in schools across the city.”
Coun Louise Farthing, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “There is much to be celebrated in the city, with these fantastic GCSE results coming just a week after we saw a rise in our A* to C A-level results.
"I’d like to extend my congratulations and well done to all of our GCSE students this year as well as all of their teachers and support staff who have set our young people on the road to success.
"I wish everyone collecting their results the best of luck in whatever they chose to do next, be that continuing in education or taking their first steps into employment.”
National figures show the North East has the lowest percentage of exam entries which gained a grade 7 at 16.7%.
However, overall GCSE pass rates rose this year in the wake of the biggest shake-up of the exams for a generation.
One in five UK GCSE entries, 20.5%, scored at least a grade 7 under the new grading system, up 0.5 percentage points on last year, according to data published by the Joint Council for Qualifications.
And about two thirds, 66.9%, were awarded a grade 4, also up 0.5 percentage points compared with 2017.
Figures published by the exams regulator Ofqual showed that 732 16-year-olds in England taking at least seven new GCSEs scored grade 9s in all subjects.
The rises in overall pass rates come after major reforms in England designed to toughen up the qualifications and the introduction of a new 9-1 grading system, replacing A*-G grades.
A new grade 7 is broadly equivalent to an A and a grade 4 broadly equivalent to a C.
There is also less coursework in new GCSEs and students take exams at the end of the two-year courses rather than throughout.