Additionally, the Department for Education has introduced a completely new method of GCSE grading for those subjects. This summer, for the first time, results have been rated using a scale of 1-9, with 9 being at the very top of the scale. With this new system, the benchmark of performance has been significantly raised.
Commenting on the GCSE results, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Hampshire’s GCSE pupils on their hard work and achievement.
“Even with the more rigorous new standards, our indications are that young people in Hampshire have achieved good results and the vast majority will be going on to further study or training with a good set of the core qualifications under their belts.
“The Government’s new GCSE curriculum and radical change in grading has set the bar far higher for maths and English. It would be inaccurate to try and compare this year’s results in those subjects with performance in previous years, and wholly unfair on the students to do so. With two systems temporarily running in parallel for different subjects, it is also a challenge to summarise the performance of schools. That said, early indications from schools would indicate that the underlying trend in outcomes is an improvement on previous years in Hampshire.
“I would urge parents and pupils to remember that any perceived dip in English and maths results may not, in fact, reflect a drop in performance in these subjects, but a consequence of the move to a new grading system. Secondary schools, colleges and training providers will take these new benchmarks of success into consideration on applications for further study or vocational training.
“Hampshire’s pupils, their families, and schools can be very proud of this year’s results. The high calibre of teaching staff in our county is a big factor in the good GCSE results we see each year. I know that the announcement of GCSE results can be an equally rewarding moment for a great many teachers who are passionate about their work, and committed to doing all they can to help students to achieve. They should feel justly proud of having prepared young people so well, for the next stage of their lives.”
While mathematics, English language and English literature have adopted a new system, other subjects remain with the familiar A*-G grading system for this year - moving to the new grading system over the next few years.
Councillor Edgar added: “The future is very bright for young people as the range of options for study after their GCSEs keeps on growing. Those who are drawn to academic study can pursue college courses and may even look forward to higher education, but we now also have plenty of options in Hampshire for anyone keen to get straight into work, and start building skills and working experience from an early age. As a major employer, the County Council itself takes on around 100 apprentices and trainees each year, providing a variety of roles from office work to social care or even construction.
“If any young student receiving their results is now unsure of their next step, I would urge them to contact our Results Day Helpline on 01962 846193 for advice.”