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GCSE results 2017: Six key points

As schools receive their results, here are the main national stories

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As schools receive their results, here are the main national stories

Top GCSE grades are down

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which represents the exam boards, has released the proportion of UK entries that received a 7, or an A, and above in their GCSEs.  

And the results have dropped by 0.5 percentage points from 20.5 per cent in 2016 to 20 per cent. 

The overall A* to C (or 9 to 4) pass rate has fallen

The results released today show that what used to be known as the overall “good” pass rate, A*-C – which this year was combined with a 4 and above – fell by 0.6 percentage points.  

Overall, the proportion of UK pupils that received a 4, or a C, and above in their GCSE this year was 66.3 per cent.

Outcomes have dropped in the reformed subjects 

This summer, the new and tougher maths, English language and English literature GCSEs have beeen awarded for the first time – with grades 9 to 1, instead of A* to G. 

The proportion of UK entries achieving an A or a 7 or better fell from 13.7 per cent to 13.6 per cent in English language, from 21.3 per cent to 19.2 per cent in English literature and from 15.9 per cent to 15.5 per cent in maths.

But the exam boards have said that the drop in outcomes this year can be linked to a change in cohort this year, which has been driven by school accountability measures - such as Progress 8. 

Boys have pulled ahead in maths... 

A leading academic predicted earlier this week that the reformed linear maths GCSE could favour boys more than girls. 

And the results for England show that boys did widen the gap to 1.8 percentage points in maths compared to 0.8 percentage points last year.

16.5 per cent of male entries were awarded at least an A or a 7 grade this year, compared with 14.7 per cent of females.

... but the gender gap has widened in English

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, also suggested that the gap could narrow in English.

But girls have actually widened the gap in English compared to last year – despite the introduction of a reformed GCSE in the subject which features less coursework.

Thousands receive grade 9s in the new GCSEs

For each of the reformed subjects, thousands of entries received the new top grade 9 – which is harder to get than the A*. 

Of the 16-year-olds in the UK, there were 13,794 entries in English, 17,237 entries in English literature and 18,694 entries in maths that received a 9. 

For all the latest news, views and analysis on GCSE results day, please visit our specialist GCSE results day hub. 

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