Ulster pupils celebrate GCSE successes
Thousands of Ulster teenagers were celebrating last night after receiving their GCSE results.
Although official statistics will not be revealed until the examination boards in England and Wales release their results on Thursday, it is thought that pupils in Northern Ireland have once again achieved better grades than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.
Coleraine Academical Institute pupil Ryan Elliott was delighted to get seven A*s and two As in his exams.
He is waiting for his final grade, which will be released on Thursday, but last night told the Belfast Telegraph he was pleased to know that he will be able to progress to sixth form at his school, where he is going to study biology, chemistry, maths and French.
"I want to do dentistry or medicine at Queens," said the 16-year-old Portstewart schoolboy.
"I thought the actual exams were harder than the mocks but I came out thinking I had done the best I could do.
"My family is really pleased. I wasn't that nervous about the results because I went on holiday and then was working through the summer. But it started to hit me last week and I began to get nervous the night before, thinking I was going to get results which will affect the rest of my life."
More than 35,000 pupils received their results yesterday morning but it has emerged that pupils from a number of schools in Northern Ireland had to collect their results from school after problems arose in the delivery. Schools had to retrieve hundreds of results envelopes from the Post Office.
They were sent to the schools by CCEA, Northern Ireland's awarding body, on Monday but it appears that they were then posted to pupils with second class stamps and oversized envelopes.
A spokeswoman from Royal Mail confirmed that there had been some difficulties in delivering results to GCSE students.
"There were underpayment problems with a couple of schools but delivery of GCSE results has gone very well," she said.
Meanwhile, the Parents' Advice Centre has warned that some students who receive bad news might need extra support in the coming days.
Centre spokesperson Pip Jaffa said: "There certainly needs to be an opportunity to give them time to talk about what they want and how they feel. "