More than 950,000 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will find out how they fared, having not sat any physical exams after they were cancelled because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the government announced that students in England will receive the GCSE grades given by their schools after a controversial algorithm was scrapped in a humiliating U-turn.
The flawed system devised by the exams regulator Ofqual saw nearly 40 per cent of A-Level results downgraded last week and received major backlash from both students and headteachers.
On Wednesday evening – with less than 24 hours to go until results day – exam board Pearson announced it would re-grade BTecs in line with GCSEs and A-levels meaning some students will no longer receive their BTec results.
The decision affects about 500,000 pupils, half of whom received their A-Level equivalent qualifications last week while the rest were due to collect their grades alongside GCSE candidates today.
A spokesperson for Pearson said: “We will be regrading BTECs to address concerns about unfairness in relation to A-levels and GCSEs and ensure no BTEC student is disadvantaged.
“We know this could cause additional uncertainty for students and we are sorry about this.
“Our priority is to ensure fair outcomes for BTEC students and we will work around the clock to provide revised grades as soon as we can.”
We’ll be bringing you all the latest news from GCSE results day in Sheffield here.
LIVE: GCSE results day in Sheffield
Last updated: Thursday, 20 August, 2020, 12:52
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- Over 80 per cent of High Storrs School pupils pass English and maths
- Mum’s pride in son as he secures college place
- Top GCSE grades surge to record high in England
GCSE students should feel ‘incredibly proud’ today, says education secretary
Education secretary Gavin Williamson said those receiving their GCSE results today should feel “incredibly proud” of what they have achieved “in the face of immense challenge and uncertainty."
He said: “This is an exciting day and young people now can look forward to taking their next steps, whether that is returning to schools and colleges in September to do A-levels or our brand new T-levels, or taking one of the many other routes available like starting an apprenticeship.
“I also want to pay a special tribute to teachers and school leaders this year who have shown dedication, resilience and ingenuity to support their students to get to this moment.”
GCSE marks surge in England as students receive teachers’ estimated grades
The proportion of GCSE entries in England awarded top grades has surged to record high after a U-turn meant results could be based on teachers' estimated grades amid cancelled exams.
More than one in four GCSE entries in England scored one of the three top grades this year, up from just over a fifth last summer, figures from exams regulator Ofqual show.
The proportion receiving the top grades – at least a seven or an A grade – is a record high based on available data following the decision to award grades based on teachers’ assessments, rather than an algorithm.
Data from the exams regulator has also revealed that more than three in four entries were awarded at least a four or a C grade in England this summer, which is up 8.9 percentage points on last year when 67.1% achieved the grades.
Traditional A*-G GCSE grades have been scrapped and replaced in England with a 9-1 system with 9 the highest result. A 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 broadly equivalent to an A.
Students receiving GCSE results this summer will get numerical grades for all their subjects as all courses have now moved over to the new grading system.
Celebrations for students picking up GCSEs at Firth Park Academy
Firth Park Academy ‘proud’ of students as English and maths grades improve
Over half, (57.6%) of pupils at Firth Park Academy have secured a Grade 9 – 4 in English and mathematics in their GCSEs this year, with 37 per cent securing Grade 9 - 5 in the subjects.
Teachers and leaders at the school in Shiregreen said they have worked extremely hard to make sure that the grading for every student is fair and allows them to go onto further education, employment or training – whatever is the best option for them.
Three students - Abaseno Ekong, Tiffany Kibutu and Destiny Ehimwenma - have secured scholarships to study at Birkdale School. Abaseno and Destiny made the most progress of any students in the academy, showing that hard work results in remarkable success.
Overall, Firth Park Academy has seen a marked improvement in their English and mathematics combined GCSE results this year of 14 per cent points improvement at Grade 9-4. In Religious Studies and Art, students did particularly well, with 79 per cent and 73% respectively achieving Grade 4 and above. A grade 4 represents a standard pass.
At Firth Park Academy, the following students secured the top grades:
- Josh Saunders: 7 grade 9s, 1 grade 8, 1 grade 7
- Abubakar Younis: 5 grade 9s, 4 grade 8s
- Mariam Pervaiz: 4 grade 9s, 4 grade 8s, 1 grade 7
- Bradley Cartwright 2 grade 9s, 7 grade 8s
- Ahmed Obaid: 4 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s, 2 grade 7s
Headteacher Dean Jones said “I am delighted for our students and I am so proud of the incredible effort they have put in during their time at Firth Park.
"Even though our students were not able to take their final exams, their results today show the hard work they have put in during their time at school and are a fair reflection of the commitment they show every day.
“In particular, the great grades achieved by Josh Saunders, Abubakar Younis, and Mariam Pervaiz are real highlights of a fantastic set of results. In a time of incredible challenge, they should be very pleased with how well they have done.”
‘Well done for what you’ve achieved’
Firth Park Academy pupil commended for ‘amazing’ progress
Prime Minister congratulates GCSE students
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who cut short a holiday to Scotland amid the exams crisis, has congratulated GCSE students.
Posting on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “Congratulations to everyone receiving their GCSE results today.
“I know the last few months have been tough and this isn’t how you imagined you would be finishing Year 11, but you can be proud of how you helped to keep the virus under control.
“You have literally saved lives through staying at home and keeping distance from others.
“Thank you for protecting yourselves, your families and your communities this year. And once again – congratulations and well done!”
Smiles all round at Firth Park Academy
We’ll hopefully be speaking to some students at the school later so stay tuned!
Schools minister ‘hopeful’ BTec students will get results next week
Schools Minister Nick Gibb has said he is hopeful that students will get their BTec results next week.
Asked when they will receive their grades, Mr Gibb told the BBC: “Well as soon as possible, but I hope next week.
“Pearson are working to correct and to review those grades and to reissue them.
“And we’re working closely with Ucas and the independent regulator and exam boards to make sure that no young person will be disadvantaged as a consequence of that delay.”
He added: “Having spoken to Pearson and all the exam boards yesterday, I believe that they will be delivered next week.”