The Joint Council for Qualifications has today published the 2018 GCSE results for the UK. Highlights from the JCQ Media Release include:

  • Significant reform to the system continues in England and Wales, with results in 23 subjects in England using 9-1 grading scale.
  • Content has been updated and refreshed and in some subjects is more challenging.
  • Standards continue to be maintained at key grades A/7, C/4, and G/1, the points at which comparisons across jurisdictions and between reformed and non-reformed qualifications in England can be made.
  • Outcomes are stable at A/7 up 0.5 percentage points to 20.5%; C/4 up 0.5% percentage points to 66.9%; G/1 down 0.1 percentage points to 98.3%.
  • Shifting entry patterns across the age range, especially in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics, affect outcomes.
  • Large increases of nearly 20% in entries for separate sciences and outcomes in the new Double Science award in line with expectations.
  • Entry increases: Computing up 11.8%; Geography 4.3%; History 1.7%. The 16 year old population is down 2.7%.
  • MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES: Entries were up 0.4%, which should be looked at in the context of the overall population declining 2.7%. In 2018, there were just under 300,000 entries for languages and these students performed to a very similar level to 2017.

Jane Harvey, ALL President-Elect, commented on this year’s results: “Very many congratulations to all the students across Wales, Northern Ireland and England who are collecting their GCSE results today and to their hard working language teachers. Whilst it is pleasing to see that entry numbers for languages have stabilised this year, we must remember that this is in the context of a steep decline since 2016, with entries for GCSE in languages down 25,000 since then. This fall is linked to the issue of severe grading of language GCSEs making students reluctant to pick them as an EBacc subject and I am very pleased that Ofqual has said that this will be investigated in the autumn. Whilst there has been a smooth transfer overall to the new grading system of 9-1, there will, as every year, be some volatility at school level. Students should talk to their teachers about any unexpected results as there are processes put in place by the exam boards to look at these.”

Further information:

Joint Council for Qualifications: media release and results.

Department for Education: statement from the School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb Ofqual guide to GCSE results for England, 2018

Regulators: England, Northern Ireland, Wales

Education Departments: England, Northern Ireland, Wales


In the news:

BBC: GCSE results rise despite tougher exams 

BBC: Reality Check: Are exam changes affecting what students study?

Schools Week: GCSE Results 2018: The 7 most interesting things we have learned

TES: GCSE results: Top grades up for first time in seven years

TES: GCSE results day 2018: All you need to know

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