Thousands of school pupils in Essex are celebrating after collecting their GCSE results today.
In the first year since a new numerical grading system was introduced, about 15,000 young people were entered into GCSEs at schools in Essex this year.
Provisional figures released by Essex County Council show 66.2% per cent achieved at least level 4 (a pass at grade C under the old system and regarded by the Department for Education as a standard pass) in English and maths.
While direct comparisons cannot be made with last year’s results, the figure for Essex this year is above standards for 2016 A* to C in English and Mathematics.
English language, English literature and maths are the first subjects to be graded under the new 9 to 1 scale, with others continuing to be graded A* to G.
Most other subjects are expected to adopt numerical grades by 2019.
The Department for Education will publish provisional GCSE data in October, with the county’s local authority ranking and performance under the Progress 8 (average of all students' progress across eight subjects between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4) and Attainment 8 (school's average grade across the same suite of eight subjects) measures expected to be made available at that stage.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “These excellent results cap another excellent year for education in Essex and are testament to the hard work of schools, teachers and tutors and their pupils.
“New grading scales have begun to be introduced this year to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to help better differentiate between high performing pupils.
“While this is a positive step, pupils receiving their grades today will have received a mixture of both number and letter grades which I appreciate may have created some unease.
“I would therefore like to extend extra congratulations to all pupils for their achievements this year and wish them the best of luck for the future.”
Adult learners are celebrating with excellent pass rates being achieved.
73% of those that took a maths GCSE achieved a grade 9-4 (A*-C) and a staggering 85% achieved the same result in English.
GCSEs at ACL will commence in September. English and maths GCSEs are free to those people who do not currently hold a grade (A*-C) in the subject already. Biology is also available at some centres. Those interested should call 0345 603 7635
If any pupils are unsure what to do next, help finding education, employment or apprenticeship opportunities is available from Essex County Council’s Employment and Skills Team by calling 0800 707 6384. Alternatively, visit the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/esuessex
The council’s Apprenticeship Promotion and Brokerage Service are working with a number of Essex and London based businesses who are still seeking to recruit summer school leavers.
For more information on the range of opportunities available, please contact the team on 03330 1399858 or email email@example.com