Today, it's GCSEs' turn in the spotlight. Millions of pupils across the UK will receive their results this morning – results which will affect not just the pupils themselves, but their teachers and schools.
And with the introduction of the reformed GCSEs, it's sure to be an unforgettable results day.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the headlines, trends, and reactions throughout the day, as well as providing vital information on how to navigate exam appeals, how to tell your results day story, and how to support your students – and each other – as you receive the results.
As students and teachers celebrate their GCSE results across the country, some teenagers have praised the help they received from an unconventional source.
Andrew Bruff, an English teacher-turned-YouTuber, has received hundreds of messages from GCSE students, all thanking him for his work in helping them get the grades they wanted with his free YouTube video guides.
"I wanted to personally say thank you," wrote one student on Twitter, "as your videos have helped me so much in getting a grade 9 in english lit. Keep up the hard work."
Schools with "good" English departments have seen a drop in their GCSE results in the subject this year, according to a headteachers' union.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has been contacted about "unpredictable" English results at some secondary schools.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, said: "We are picking up stories of schools with good, well-established English departments that get good results every year [who have] seen a drop in their results.
“You have got schools reporting very unpredictable results with some students getting a grade 3 in English whereas their other grades are much higher."
“Them being teenagers, they obviously panicked at times,” Mr Wilkinson says. “It’s been a bit of a pressure-cooker.”
And he is not merely talking about the pupils: staff, too, are feeling the pressure. “You get this set of numbers on paper, and it takes quite a while to decode them and work out what they mean,” says Mr Edwards says of the school's results this year.
We must give our attention to the students at the margins, those least well served by today’s new GCSEs, writes ASCL's General Secretary Geoff Barton.
"It’s those middle and lower ability students who need our relentless focus – the ones for whom learning is neither intuitive nor always enjoyable; the ones most likely to become disaffected by a shoe-horned curriculum diet; the ones who, as teachers and school leaders, we always used to celebrate when they managed to get their grade C in some subjects.
None of our international competitors will take the same gleeful delight in designing a tougher qualification that leaves more children and their parents feeling disappointed at the end of 11 years.
At some point we must give our attention – undistracted and laser-sharp – to the students at the margins, to those least well served by today’s new GCSEs."
An English teacher in the North West shares his experience:
"GCSE results day is always one where emotions run high. Ultimately, it is the students' day and their results allow them to make their next steps. Seeing euphoric faces is always a pleasure and makes the blood, sweat and tears all worth it. There are, of course, those who don't achieve as well as they thought they might - you do your best to find the positives in their results and talk about their options.
Increasingly results day is becoming more about 'how good a teacher you are' - that's sometimes how it feels and I have colleagues who actively avoid analysing their results until the inset day in September. Generally, my experiences of results day have been positive, but I'm sure I might feel differently with the reforms (Progress 8, Attainment 8 & 9-1 grading) over the next few years."
A "pass" or a grade 4 in GCSE maths this year would have been achieved with 18 per cent of the overall marks in the higher tier paper, exams regulator Ofqual has said.
Last year, it is understood that a pass or a grade C in the higher mathematics paper would have been achieved with approximately 35 per cent of the overall marks.
This morning one teacher took to the Tes forums to describe this year's pass mark as "bloody pathetic!" "Maybe we should forget grading of any sort and just give the results as a percentage," they said.
One free-school pioneer and evangelist argues that 2017’s GCSE results prove that the former education secretary’s commitment to parental groups and school autonomy was right.
"Another free school with stellar results is the Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, in Blackburn, Lancashire, which got the third-highest Progress 8 score in the country in 2016 (+1.15). Seventy-five per cent of its students got 5 or above in English and maths this year, a figure rising to 93 per cent for 4 and above, with 63 per cent obtaining the English Baccalaureate. That’s particularly impressive when you consider that TIBHS is in one of England’s 12 "Opportunity Areas."
Changing cohorts, fluctuating school entry patterns and shifting government policy can make interpreting GCSE results difficult at the best of times.
But this summer’s batch surely wins the prize for confusion. There are two different grading systems – A*-G and 9-1 – running concurrently, and no fewer than three distinctly different national versions of the GCSE being used in the UK.
However, one clear point did shine through – results were down, with the proportion of UK entries receiving top grades – A*/A or 9-7 – falling to exactly a fifth, its lowest point in a decade.
It's time to get graphic about GCSE results day...
"Politicians will be praising how good the changes have been, yet the teachers are hidden from sight, picking up the pieces and putting out fires.
Our results are interesting. Interesting because I have nothing to compare against. Nothing historically. Nothing nationally. Nothing regionally. We know what is really good. We know what is really bad. But we don’t know how it compares and links together."
The switch to the new 9-1 GCSE grading system has caused confusion for parents and employers alike, with the Institute for Directors warning that its members may view the new grades as “gibberish”.
But it has emerged that even the government’s own software has been stumped by the switch from lettered to numbered grades in this year's GCSE results.
Adi Bloom was live at Brighton Hill Community School, Basingstoke, this morning to share the laughter and the tears with the students, teachers and parents.
She quizzed teachers about the school's results and what they mean for this year's pupils, and next. Watch her Facebook live here.
One teacher on his experience of GCSE results day:
"I sit on the train on my way home after results day feeling at ease. Results day offers a rare moment of clarity, I have always found it reassuring to know that for me and those students the work is done. In education the constant cycle of implementation, reflection and renewal often results in very few opportunities to sit back and take stock of a finished job.
It’s not to say that I haven't ever experienced result anomalies and unexpected grades but generally, I have found the grades staring back at the student from the results paper a particularly insightful summary of that individual's journey.
Whether it’s students overcoming a disappointing set of mock-results through shear strength of character and work ethic, or a student who could have done so much better if they hadn’t had to devote quite so much time to a part time job, I am struck that an assessment method that relies so heavily on chance can reflect the twists and wrinkles of a student's experience."
Sebastian Witts is an assistant headteacher at The King Alfred School in Somerset
Just over 2,000 pupils achieved a full set of 9s - the new top, top GCSE grade designed to denote the very highest achievers this year.
Figures released by Ofqual today reveal that 2,050 16-year-olds in England received a 9 in each three of the core subjects with tougher reformed GCSEs.
And according to exam boards, two thirds of the coveted grade nines were awarded to girls.
The proportion of students aged 17 and above who achieved a grade C in the final legacy GCSE maths exams has fallen sharply, official figures reveal.
Out of the 149,537 older students across the UK who sat their legacy GCSE maths exams this summer, only 24.4 per cent managed to achieve a grade C or better – a drop of 5.1 percentage points compared with last year. Meanwhile, in English 29 per cent of 17-plus learners achieved an A*-C pass, up from 26.9 per cent in 2016. Some 59,558 entries were recorded in the subject, down by more than 50 per cent from last year.
Key points on #GCSEresultsday for post-17 learners: just 1 in 4 achieved a C grade in their final legacy maths exams. 29% get a C in English— Will Martin (@willmartie) August 24, 2017
211,000+ students received a grade 3 in their exams, meaning they will face a compulsory resit of their GCSEs next year #GCSEresultsday— Will Martin (@willmartie) August 24, 2017
Over 74,000 students aged 17 and above got a D in their final legacy English and maths GCSEs #GCSEresultsday— Will Martin (@willmartie) August 24, 2017
The results are out, and pupils will be queuing up to open their envelopes of truth...
Got my fingers crossed for everyone in Tottenham getting their GCSE results this morning. Good luck today and with what you will do next— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) August 24, 2017
The number of entries to combined science fell by 27.6 per cent this year.
And the drop from 408,569 to 295,889 entries cannot be explained by a shift towards the chemistry, biology and physics GCSEs where entries remained broadly stable.
The gap – 9.5 percentage points – was wider than the 8.9 percentage points seen last summer, despite the downgrading of coursework and a shift towards end-of-course exams.
The proportion of UK entries receiving top GCSE grades – A*/A or 9-7 in subjects with reformed qualifications – has fallen to a fifth – its lowest point in a decade.
Results released this morning by exam boards show that the proportion of UK entries getting A*-C or 9-4 has also fallen from 66.9 to 66.3 per cent.
They are the first to include new intentionally tougher, numerically graded GCSEs – introduced this year for maths, English language and English literature.
And Tes' exams expert Eleanor Busby pulls together the six key points from GCSE Results Day.
"Sure, the extra cash comes in handy, but the real benefit of exam marking is the insight into 'What the examiner is looking for', that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The Holy Grail."
One teacher-examiner shares what she learned when marking the new-style GCSE English papers this summer.
The process of analysing a novel in school distracts pupils from engaging with its story and characters, says research by John Gordon of the University of East Anglia's school of education.
Have you got burning questions about the GCSE results that are going unanswered? Join in with our teacher Q&A on the Tes community forums to up-to-date get advice, feedback and answers.
Reformed GCSEs will increase stress and anxiety because pupils will be forced to spend a longer period of time sitting more exams, say ASCL.
Geoff Barton, ASCL's general secretary, says: “The new GCSEs are more challenging, and there are more papers, and this is putting severe pressure on young people. We support a robust qualification system, but it has to be balanced against the welfare of young people, and we are not sure the balance in the new system is correct."
And, latest figures from Ofqual reveal that Independent schools are more likely to challenge exam results and be successful in their requests for reviews of marking than the vast majority of state schools.
Leaders are warning that this means that pupils in state schools, already hit by real terms school funding cuts, are being "doubly disadvantaged".
Launching an investigation into an exam result is not simple or straightforward, and it’s certainly not cheap. Before making any decisions here are a few things to consider. One head of English looks at how the shift to online marking and Ofqual’s tightening up of exam appeals will affect the approach that teachers will have to use when trying to appeal an exam result.
44 per cent of parents think the new GCSEs will hinder their children's prospects, and less than a fifth think the new grading system is a good idea, a Mumsnet and Tes survey has revealed.
The survey, which more than 1,000 parents in England took part in, also revealed that almost three-quarters of parents with children who have studied for the GCSEs do not think enough official information about the grades has been provided.
We've gathered everything you need to know about this year's GCSE results day here. If you're unsure about how to apply for a re-mark, or how much it will cost, we've got all the information you need.
Keep up to date with all the latest GCSE news, views and analysis on our GCSE hub.