Belfast Telegraph

GCSE results: Females in Northern Ireland continue to perform better than male counterparts

NI students results continue to improve

Students from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Students from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Cliona Thompson and Cathrine Jackson with their parents from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Niamh Magee ,Molly Deazley and Cathrine Dempsey from Dominican College Fortwilliam as she receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Cathrine Jackson and Cliona Thompson from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
William Johnston From Hazel Wood Integrated as he receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Students From Hazel Wood Integrated as he receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Cody Armstrong From Hazel Wood Integrated as he receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Cathrine Jackson and Cliona Thompson from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Students from Dominican College Fortwilliam as they receive GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Michael Cleland , Nkosinathi Khumalo and James Kavanagh From Royal Belfast Academical Institution as he receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Michael Cleland , Nkosinathi Khumalo and James Kavanagh From Royal Belfast Academical Institution as he receives GCSE results on August 24th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Pacemaker Press 24/8/2017 Top achievers as Pupils at Victoria College in Belfast receive their GCSE results on Thursday. Around 30,000 pupils received their grades , as Northern Ireland students make steady improvements in GCSEs, with small rises across the grades in examinations in 2017. One in ten entries were awarded the top A* grade, with almost 80 percent achieving A* - C grades. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/8/2017 Top achievers as Pupils at Victoria College in Belfast receive their GCSE results on Thursday. Around 30,000 pupils received their grades , as Northern Ireland students make steady improvements in GCSEs, with small rises across the grades in examinations in 2017. One in ten entries were awarded the top A* grade, with almost 80 percent achieving A* - C grades. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Hannah Masson 3A* 6A B, Chloe Den Haese 3A 6B and Leah McGilton 6A* 5A.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Mathew Christie 3A* 5A B with his Classroom Assistant Helen McCluggage.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Taylor beggs A* 4A 4B C, Amy Davidson 2A* A 3B 4C, Leah Young 2A* 3A 4B C and Karla Stevenson 3A* 2A 3B 2C.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Rachel Stewart 3A* 5A 2B and Hannah Scott 1A* 4A 4B.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Gwynneth Cockcroft and her daughter Saffy who got 4A* 6A.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Andrew Farquhar 8A* 3A, Callum Blair 9A* A and Adam Clarke 9A* A.
Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sunday 24 August 2017 Ballyclare High School GCSE Results Day. Principal Dr Michelle Rainey with the McCullough twins Mathew 6A 4B and Rebecca 3A* 6A B.
Assumption Grammar school pupils, Leah Taggart, left, 5 A stars, 4 A's and B, Lucy Aires 7 A stars and 3 A's with principal Peter Dobbin. Pic by Peter Morrison
Pacemaker Press 24/8/2017 Top achiever Sarah Hand with mum Maria and Dog Kenny who got 10 A* grades as Pupils at Victoria College in Belfast receive their GCSE results on Thursday. Around 30,000 pupils received their grades , as Northern Ireland students make steady improvements in GCSEs, with small rises across the grades in examinations in 2017. One in ten entries were awarded the top A* grade, with almost 80 percent achieving A* - C grades.
Pacemaker Press 24/8/2017 Top achievers including receiving A* and A grades Sarah Hand, Harriet Bedi, Lucy Clarke , Olivia Fee, Nina Fitzpatrick, Hannah Rose Glover , Georgia Heatherley, Kaur Manpreet, Katie Kerr, Kirsten Mathews, Rachel McCormack, Amy McKillen , Georgia Ross , Lauren Sleith and Darcy Smith as Pupils at Victoria College in Belfast receive their GCSE results on Thursday. Around 30,000 pupils received their grades , as Northern Ireland students make steady improvements in GCSEs, with small rises across the grades in examinations in 2017. One in ten entries were awarded the top A* grade, with almost 80 percent achieving A* - C grades.
Pacemaker Press 24/8/2017 Top achievers including receiving A* and A grades Sarah Hand, Harriet Bedi, Lucy Clarke , Olivia Fee, Nina Fitzpatrick, Hannah Rose Glover , Georgia Heatherley, Kaur Manpreet, Katie Kerr, Kirsten Mathews, Rachel McCormack, Amy McKillen , Georgia Ross , Lauren Sleith and Darcy Smith as Pupils at Victoria College in Belfast receive their GCSE results on Thursday. Around 30,000 pupils received their grades , as Northern Ireland students make steady improvements in GCSEs, with small rises across the grades in examinations in 2017. One in ten entries were awarded the top A* grade, with almost 80 percent achieving A* - C grades.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-08-2017: GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again, with one in 10 entries being awarded an A*. Pupils from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland pictured after receiving their GCSE results. Picture By: Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-08-2017: GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again, with one in 10 entries being awarded an A*. Pupils from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland pictured after receiving their GCSE results. Picture By: Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-08-2017: GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again, with one in 10 entries being awarded an A*. Hannah James and Victoria Gillespie pupils from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland pictured after receiving their GCSE results. Picture By: Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-08-2017: GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again, with one in 10 entries being awarded an A*. Pupils from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland pictured after receiving their GCSE results. Picture By: Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-08-2017: GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again, with one in 10 entries being awarded an A*. Pupils from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland pictured after receiving their GCSE results. Picture By: Pacemaker.
Students from Ashfield Girls School get their GCSE results. Pupils in Northern Ireland have outperformed those in the rest of the UK in terms of A*-C grades at GCSE. About 30,000 local students received their 2016 exam results on Thursday. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Education Minister Peter Weir welcomes GCSE examination results with Methodist College, pupils Lauren Bell, Zoe Hagan and Caitriona Marsh. Picture: Michael Cooper
Pupils from Royal Belfast Academical Institution in belfast pictured with Principal Janet Williamson after they received their 2016 exam results. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Pupils from Royal Belfast Academical Institution in belfast pictured with Principal Janet Williamson after they received their 2016 exam results. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Pupils (L-R) Donal Shearer,Aneurin Duffy-Murray and Ben Connolly from Royal Belfast Academical Institution in Belfast pictured after receiving 11A Stars in their GCSE exam results. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Pupils from Royal Belfast Academical Institution in belfast pictured with Principal Janet Williamson after they received their 2016 exam results. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Pupils from Royal Belfast Academical Institution in belfast pictured with Principal Janet Williamson after they received their 2016 exam results. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Education Minister, Peter Weir, pictured at a visit to Methodist College, Belfast with pupils (left-right) Caitriona Marsh, Lauren Bell and Zoe Hagan. Picture: Michael Cooper
Education Minister, Peter Weir, pictured at a visit to Our Lady's and St Patrick's College with pupils, Eimear Rogers (left) and Clare Dempsey and Joseph McKervey. Picture: Michael Cooper
Education Minister, Peter Weir, pictured at a visit to Our Lady's and St Patrick's College with Clare Dempsey and John Toner who each received 10 A Stars in their GCSE results. Picture: Michael Cooper
Education Minister, Peter Weir, pictured at a visit to Our Lady's and St Patrick's College with pupils, Eimear Rogers (left) and Clare Dempsey. Picture: Michael Cooper

By Claire Williamson

Females in Northern Ireland continue to outperform their male counterparts in GCSE examinations.

On Thursday morning the 29,170 students who sat GCSE examinations set by local board CCEA at 264 testing centres found out what grades they got.

Those who sat CCEA exams in May range from a 10-year-old pupil of primary school age right up to a pensioner aged 71.

Females continue to perform better than males with 83.5% of all female entries gaining a C/4 or above (up 0.6 percentage points on last year).

Girls now outperform them by 1.5 percentage points at the A* grade and 6.5 percentage points at A*-A.

However, male entries achieving grades A*- C improved to 75.4%, up 0.1 percentage points on 2016.

The gap between Female and Male performance at A*- C grades has widened by 0.5 percentage points to 8.1%.

For the first time this year's GCSE results include 9-1 graded qualifications.

In Northern Ireland the new 9-1 grade - where nine is the best score - will only apply to GCSE mathematics and English literature exams set by English and Welsh boards AQA, OCR, Pearson and Eduqas. A little over 3% of students here will receive a numerical grade.

Next year more exam subjects offered by these boards will use the numerical system.

CCEA will not change to the numerical 9-1 grading.  In 2019 the new CCEA letter grading will be introduced, with the Grade A* aligned to the Grade 9. In addition, a Grade C* will be introduced and aligned with the Grade 5.

Figures released by the Joint Council for Qualifications show that students here continue to make steady improvements at GCSE level, with small rises across the grades.

There has been a slight rise of 0.7 percentage points, for entries awarded the top A* grade, rising to 10%. Entries awarded A* - C grades have improved slightly with a 0.4 percentage points increase to 79.5%.

GCSE entries in Northern Ireland have fallen by 3.2% from 161,975 to 156,806.

Student performances at English and maths have risen slightly.

In GCSE English, the percentage of entries achieving A* - C grades increased by 1.8 percentage points to 79.6%.

GCSE Mathematics outcomes have risen to 66.4% of entries achieving grades1 A*- C, returning performance to 2015 levels (66.6%).

Entries in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related subjects grew by 0.5%.

They account for almost one-third (32.2%) of all GCSE entries here.

The growth in STEM entries is being driven by growth in subjects such as Computing (+21.4 %) and Physics (+2.5%). There were decreases in the percentage of the overall entry taking Biology (-4.1%) and Chemistry (-4.0%).

Due to the powersharing crisis at Stormont there is no education minister in post to congratulate the students.

That task was left to a spokesman for the Department of Education.

"We want to congratulate all those getting exam results and moving on to the next stage of their education, whether in school, college, university or in the workplace," he said.

"Performance of local students in school examinations - A-levels, GCSEs, and their equivalents - remains strong and is a tribute to the efforts of students, teachers, parents and carers.

"These results can be relied upon by colleges and universities, by trainers and employers, as confirmation of the attainment of our young people. It is also important that we continue to work to increase the number of young people getting a good, sound, general education as reflected in their GCSE grades.

"Whilst the focus at this time is on results, it is also important to remember that education is about so much more than exams.

"The calibre of our young people, their personal qualities and attributes, are not to be summed up just by their exam results. Working with pre-schools, schools and colleges during their time in education, our young people have fostered skills, knowledge and understanding, some of which are demonstrated through exam results, but others are only evident as they go through life.

"We look forward to seeing their progress through formal education, increasing their contribution to the community and the workplace."

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire tweeted: "Good luck to everyone receiving GCSE results this morning. Hope all the hard work has been rewarded."

UK WIDE KEY FIGURES IN GCSE RESULTS:

  • The proportion of entries receiving the top grades (A/7 or above) has fallen to 20%, down 0.5 percentage points on last year. This is the lowest since 2007 when the figure was 19.5%
  • For entries receiving a C/4 grade or above, the figure for 2017 was 66.3%, a drop of 0.6 percentage points on 2016, and the lowest since 2008
  • In the subjects where a new grading system has been introduced, 3.5% of 16-year-olds in England scored the highest grade 9 in maths, 3.3% scored grade 9 in English literature, and 2.6% scored grade 9 in English
  • In English literature, 72.6% of entries got C/4 or above, down from 75.1% last year. In English the figure rose from 60.2% to 62.1%
  • In maths the overall proportion of entries getting C/4 or above dropped from 61% in 2016 to 59.4%
  • The overall gap between girls and boys getting grade C/4 or above has widened since last year. Some 71% of girls got C/4 or higher compared with 61.5% of boys, a gap of 9.5 percentage points. Last year the gap was 8.9 points
  • The overall pass rate is unchanged on 2016. The proportion of entries receiving G/1 or above was 98.4%
  • In total there were 5,443,072 entrants for the exams, up 4% on last year

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