North East Connected

GCSE Turmoil Affects Grades Nationwide

SCHOOLS NorthEast has today praised the GCSE results of the region’s students in what has been one the biggest shake ups in the UK’s education history.

This is the first year that pupils across the UK have faced the new, tougher examinations, and as a result have found the mounting pressure to achieve higher standards a contributing factor to the fall in C and above grades achieved nationwide.

Mike Parker, director of SCHOOLS NorthEast, said: “We would like to congratulate all North East students for their incredible hard work and the results that they have achieved today.

“Across the board, grades have fallen in comparison to 2016, which shows how much of a toll the changes have taken on pupils’ outcomes in the region this year. We have no issue with the Government pushing for higher standards however the roll out of the new GCSEs has been rushed, and left our students ill-prepared for the examinations.”

Rushed reforms left pupils lacking exam prep materials, including text books

Schools reported considerable chaos following the rushed introduction of the new qualifications with pupils struggling to get hold of test papers and other study materials.

Mr Parker continued: “The Government’s haste to roll out the new qualifications this year has done a disservice to pupils and schools who have prepared as best they can in an environment that was not set up properly to support them. While you cannot blame the exam boards for this, the lack of test papers and other study materials made it difficult for pupils to prepare and a lottery for schools to know which papers to enter pupils for. It will take several years for the full impact of the new grading system to bed in.

“As an organisation, SCHOOLS NorthEast is committed to improving the prospects of children in the North East and supporting schools in our region, particularly in times such as these where pressures are greater than ever.”

For further information please contact SCHOOLS NorthEast on (0191) 204 8866 or out of hours on (07957) 936 021, or alternatively email

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