2009 GCSE and Diploma results

Tue, Nov 17, 2009


27 August 2009


The Schools Minister Vernon Coaker today welcomed the news that more young people are achieving A*-C grades at GCSE and setting themselves on a path to success.


The 2009 GCSE results, released today, show the overall A*-C rate has increased by 1.4 percentage points to 67.1%. The overall A* to G rate has also increased from 98.4% in 2008 to 98.6% and the A* to A rate has gone up from 20.7% in 2008 to 21.6%.


Encouragingly, boys are making excellent progress, with their A*-C results in maths rising 1.8 percentage points to 57.6%. Boys are also continuing to close the gap overall, their A*-C results improving 1.5 percentage points compared to 1.2 percentage points for girls.


There has been a significant increase in entries for the three individual sciences, with chemistry up 20.3%, biology up 18% and physics up 21% – which reflects our commitment to making triple science more widely available. It is also pleasing to see that A*-C results for the individual science subjects remain the highest, with all above 90%.


Results for modern foreign languages (MFL) are also up, with the A*-C rate up 1.8 percentage points to 70.1% in French, and up 2 percentage points in German to 74%. Following Lord Dearing’s recommendations, we will be making languages compulsory in primary school from 2011 to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of languages and improve take up at secondary school at Key Stage 4.


Although many schools will publish their own results today, official 2009 results by local authority will not be published until October, with school by school level results published in January 2010. Individual school results for previous years can be found at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/performancetables/schools_08.shtml 


GCSE results for 1997 and 2008 by constituency and local authority can be found at www.dcsf.gov.uk/inyourarea (click on the ‘GCSE and equivalents’ tab).


Highlights from the 2009 results include:

§         overall A*-C rate now stands at 67.1%, an increase of 1.4 percentage points on 2008 and 12.5 percentage points on 1997

§         entries for all individual sciences are up – chemistry is up 20.3%, biology 18% and physics is up by 21%

§         Overall A*-C rate in maths is up from 56.3 to 57.2%, with boys A*-C rate rising by 1.8 percentage points to 57.6%

§         English Literature saw a 3.2 percentage point increase in A*-C grades

§         English saw a slight fall in A*-C grades of 0.2 percentage points to 62.7%


This year’s results show we are continuing to see the benefits of sustained extra investment in teachers and resources over the last twelve years. Ofsted has reported a rise in the quality of teaching, and there are now 40,000 more teachers working in our schools. The new secondary curriculum has given teachers flexibility to teach in a more relevant and engaging way for their pupils, and we have invested £1billion for personalised learning to provide targeted support at pre-GCSE stage for those who are falling behind.


From this September, schools will be teaching new GCSEs in the majority of subjects, which have been revised to ensure they remain up-to-date, challenging, reliable and engaging for students.  The changes – which reflect wide consultation with teachers, employers, universities and others – include replacing coursework with a new form of controlled assessment.  New GCSEs cheap levitra without prescription in English, maths and ICT incorporating functional skills will be introduced from September 2010.


All results are published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and can be accessed on their website: www.jcq.org.uk.


Young people worried about their exams results should call the National Exam Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000 or go to www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/14To19/OptionsAt16/index.htm


The Government’s guarantee for school leavers


·        The Government’s September Guarantee means that 16 and 17 year olds will be guaranteed a suitable place in learning at school, college, in training or an apprenticeship this September. 




The vast majority of the 12,000 young people who started a Diploma this year are following two year Diploma courses and their first results will be in summer 2010. Based on feedback from schools and colleges, a small number of learners - around 600 – attempted to complete their Diploma this year. Of these 178 successfully achieved the Diploma in one year, a further 34 achieved a grade U.


In some cases, learners were hoping to complete their Diploma and have not done so because they have decided on the advice of their teachers to take longer to complete the qualification; in others it will be because they have not yet passed all three functional skills at the required level, or achieved their Additional and Specialist Learning.  Around a half of those who are yet to achieve their Diploma successfully achieved the principal learning and project. At level 2, this is broadly equivalent to 4 -5 GCSEs. These learners are well on their way to achieving a full Diploma.


Where learners have not achieved a part of the Diploma they will receive a Diploma Progress Statement setting out their achievements to date. They will receive feedback on their progress so far and options available to enable them to re-sit and achieve their Diploma at a later date. Learners can claim their Diploma at any point, once they have completed all the components and met the required standard. More information on Diplomas can be found at http://yp.direct.gov.uk/diplomas/


National Challenge


Based on early indications from National Challenge advisors, the DCSF is predicting that only 280 schools at most will remain below the National Challenge floor target following the 2009 GCSE results. This is down from 631 a couple of years ago and over 1,600 in 1997, meaning that where half of all schools used to fail this bench mark now it is one in ten. This firmly keeps the programme on track to achieve its aim of all schools being over the threshold by 2011.


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