Year after year Northern Ireland pupils continue to outperform the rest of the UK in their examinations and yesterday's GSCE continued the trend. The percentages gaining A* and A*-C grades were both above the national average. Significantly more students are now studying the vital STEM – sciences, technology, engineering and maths – subjects which increasingly are desired by future employers.
However much work needs to be done by education authorities. Some 8,500 pupils did not get five grades in the A*-C range which is the performance benchmark and secondary schools' results were well below those of their grammar peers. That is a gap which must be closed to enable all children to have greater opportunities.