Statement by Peter Weir DUP Education spokesman;
“I welcome the news of the success of our local students in their GCSE results. These have yet again improved with over 81% of Northern Ireland GCSE entries achieving A* to C grade. By contrast in England and Wales only 67% of exams obtained a 9-4 grade, the equivalent of a pass here. Northern Ireland continues to lead the way in exam success. The hard work of our students, teachers and parents are to be commended and they should take time today to celebrate.
I also welcome the fact that students in Northern Ireland can still avail of the choice of a range of examination boards, with nearly 3000 receiving numerical grades. This number is likely to expand next year and with the introduction by CCEA of the new C* grade this will ensure that there is direct and easy comparison allowing portability of qualifications and ensuring our students will not be disadvantaged at later stages anywhere in the UK, either in terms of university qualifications or the job market. It is also gratifying to see that 43% of GCSE exam entries in Northern Ireland are in STEM subjects. with an increase of 5% in girls taking this range of subjects, helping to prepare students for the future and building for the economy.
There will however be some students today who failed to achieve the results they wanted despite their best endeavours. It is important that they do not panic or make hasty decisions on the back of being downhearted. Life can take us on many different roads and I urge them to take their time to consider their options, take the range of advice that is available at school and beyond, and make the right choices for them in their way forward in life.”
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