Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gender Gap Narrows on GCSE Grades Day

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gender Gap Narrows on GCSE Grades Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Kershaw and Nina Massey Reporters

HUNDREDS of thousands of teenagers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland yesterday received their longawaited GCSE results.

The national figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) show that the gender gap has narrowed slightly this summer, with 73.1% of girls' entries awarded at least a C grade, compared to 64.7% of boys'.

This is a gap of 8.4 percentage points, compared to 8.8 percentage points last summer. However, the A*-C pass rate for girls has not changed since last year, while the percentage of boys gaining at least a C has risen by 0.4 % from last year's 64.3%.

The statistics also show that the numbers of students taking languages at GCSE has plummeted again, with even Spanish, which has bucked the trend in recent years, seeing a fall in numbers.

Overall, entries for French were down 6.2%, German entries were down 9.8% and Spanish down 2.4%.

Grades for languages have improved though, the JCQ said, suggesting that this could be down to brighter candidates continuing to study the subject.

JCQ director general Michael Turner said: "At a national level there is very little change in this year's results but we do see educational policies continuing to have an effect on entry patterns and results at a subject level. This is particularly the case in English, mathematics and the sciences."

A total of 5,429,478 GCSE results were issued yesterday.

Maths was the most popular subject again this year, with 761,230 entries. up 3.4% on last year. Almost two thirds of entries (63.3%) were handed at least a C grade, up from 62.4% last year.

There was also a 1.3 percentage point hike in the proportion of entries gaining an A* or A, with 16.5% awarded a top mark.

English also saw an improvement in results, with 65.4% of entries gaining at least a C grade, following a drop last summer when 61. …

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