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GCSE results: Northern Ireland students outperform rest of UK

Published 25/08/2016

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
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

Northern Ireland students have outperformed the rest of the UK in terms of top GCSE grades.

The proportion of Northern Ireland pupils achieving grades from A*-C has increased by half a percent, with almost a tenth of entries being awarded an A*.

The proportion of entries awarded A* - C grades has risen to 79.1%. Entries achieving A* - A have improved 0.5% to 29.1%, and entries achieving the top A* grade now sit at 9.3%, a slight rise of 0.3% on last year.

This is higher than the average across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, were 66.9% of entries achieved A* to C grades.

Females continue to perform better than males in GCSE examinations, with 82.9% of all female entries gaining the A* - C grades (up 0.7 percentage points on last year). Male entries achieving A*- C grades also improved to 75.3%, up 0.2 percentage points on 2015. The gap between Female and Male performance at A*- C has widened by 0.5 percentage points.

The total number of entries in GCSE examinations in Northern Ireland has fallen from 171,325 in 2015 to 161,975 in 2016, a drop of 5.5%. The entry decline was anticipated, given the 5% drop in the pupil cohort.

Entries for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have grown by 0.3% in Northern Ireland. This growth means STEM subjects here account for close to one third (31.9%) of all GCSE entries.

The increase in STEM entries is being driven by Biology (up 3.4%), Chemistry (up 1.7%) and Computing (up 106%). There were decreases in the percentage of the overall entry taking Design and Technology (down 7.7%), ICT (down 4.6%) and Physics (down 3%).

Languages entries have declined by 3.7% in Northern Ireland. French entries declined by 6.4%, Spanish entries declined by 3.8% and Irish entries decreased by 4%. German increased by 11.3%. today, up on last year's 5,429,478.

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