Exam results 2019 – the numbers, the tweets and the proud teachers

The results are in. After Scotland kicked things off with their Higher results in mid-August, A Levels followed in England and Wales on the 15th and GCSEs the week after that (as well as BTECs, WJECs, Nat 4s and Nat 5s). Up and down the country, teens spent their Summers nervously counting down the days. After all your hard work, you’ll hopefully have had cause for celebration with some smashing grades and smiling faces. Before you pick up the pace for next term though, let’s have a look at how everything went across the UK.

GCSEs

Since the big GCSE reforms in 2017, new curriculums and new grading systems have caused a fair amount of worry, controversy, and excitement too. The new 9-1 grading system that replaced the long-held A*-G was introduced in a handful of subjects in 2017, and they’ve now been phased across the remaining subjects. This makes it harder to compare with previous years, but we’ve still seen some impressive numbers.

  • The proportion of top marks (7-9) rose to 20.8% this year. This could reflect a success of the new curriculums which are meant to be more challenging than before.
  • 837 students received a clean sweep of grade 9s this year. This is up 14% from last year.
  • Of those, 66% were girls and 34% were boys. This 32% difference is a much bigger than the gender results gap overall, where girls led the number of strong passes (4 or above) by just 2.1%.

We’re especially proud of one of our partner schools Ash Green School in Coventry, who got their highest number of top grades (7-9) ever!

That’s not to mention another one of the schools who used our online tuition programme this year. Penketh High School in Warrington also received their best GCSE results ever. Well done everyone!

Teachers up and down the country were brimming with pride for their pupils too, and many found GIFs the best art form to express it…

That’s on top of thousands of happy parents who couldn’t wait to tell the world how excited they were for their kids.

A Level results

A record number of 18-year-olds – 18,900 students – from England’s most disadvantaged backgrounds have been accepted to university this year. For other kids, their results determined what university they’d be going to or if they’d start the training scheme they’d planned. Here’s the lowdown some of the numbers:

  • 300,000 pupilsopened those white envelopes (or their inboxes) to see what A Levels they’d got.
  • For UK universities, 408,960 people (kids and mature students) had university places confirmed – that’s 1% down from last year.
  • The number of male vs female pupils receiving an A or A* was the closest it’s been in at least 10 years.
  • In England though, A*-C grades were at their lowest in a decade.
  • 17,420 found their places through UCAS Clearing – 2,260 more than last year.

For the first time ever, Cambridge University accepted new students through UCAS Adjustment (when a pupil gets results that are much better than predicted). In a fantastic new effort to increase their student diversity, 67 school leavers were offered Cambridge places this way – most of them from backgrounds where no-one else they know has attended an Oxbridge university.

Many school leavers tweeted their fear in the lead-up to A Level results too…

But once they were out, teachers flocked to tell everyone how proud they were of their pupils.

Parrs Wood High School (@official_pwhs) August 21, 2019

And in what’s become an annual tradition and a running joke, TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson tweeted to reassure everyone that you can be successful no matter what results you get…

Congratulations to everyone! While there’s plenty of cause for celebration all-round, for teachers and policy-makers the wealth attainment gap is of course still a huge issue. A recent report found that disadvantaged pupils tend to remain 18 months behind at GCSE level, which is especially divisive as the courses are two years. So while everyone should be proud of what they’ve achieved, now is also the best window to plan for the new term just around the corner.

If you’d like to boost your pupils’ grades with a MyTutor Schools programme too, get in touch. Feel free to give us a call on 0203 773 6025 or email richard@mytutor.co.uk and we’ll help you get started.

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