Island’s GCSE results ‘compare well with previous years’ say education chiefs

Pupils have found out their GCSE marks

Pupils have found out their GCSE marks

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Education chiefs say the island’s GCSE results ‘compare well with previous years’.

Ofqual, the examinations regulator in England, had said that this summer’s exam results would have ‘…much greater than normal variation’.

However. that has not been the experience in the Isle of Man.

The Department of Education and Children said: ‘The broad picture is positive and reflects the work that has been put in by the DEC’s five secondary schools to ensure that pupils would cope with the transition back to linear assessment.’

Nearly 870 Year 11 students were entered for GCSEs and equivalent qualifications in the DEC’s five secondary schools in 2014, once again with entries in about 50 separate examination titles ranging from child development to computer science. Nearly every student was entered for maths and English and the vast majority of students also had at least one entry in science.

The total number of full GCSE (or equivalent) entries was just over 8,000. Some 92 per cent of these entries were in GCSE subjects, with the remainder being BTEC First Diplomas, First Certificates or Diplomas in Digital Application. In addition, 480 entries were for short course GCSEs (worth half a GCSE).

On average, each student was entered for the equivalent of 9.5 GCSEs.

Provisional analysis shows:

The A*-G pass rate for full and short course GCSEs at 99.2 per cent was in line with last year’s record of 99.3 per cent.

69 per cent of the GCSE entries were passed at the higher grades, A*-C equalling last year’s record.

17.7 per cent of the entries produced A or A* grades – slightly down on last year’s figure of 19.3%.

The average number of subjects entered, 9.5 GCSE (or equivalent) entries per student, was in line with recent years.

The GCSE points score per student at 383 was also in line with previous years (A*=58 points, A=52, B=46, C=40, D=34, E=28, F=22, G=16).

Within these overall figures, the success in maximising passes at grade Cs and above in maths results is worthy of note. Nearly 860 students were entered for maths GCSE, with two schools using the Edexcel version of the IGCSE – the qualification the DEC’s schools will move to from September 2015. 74.5% of the entries secured a pass at grade C or above.

Paul Craine, co-ordinating adviser for 11-19 education, said: ‘This is perhaps the most pleasing element of the 2014 results. There is considerable demand on the island in the finance, IT and other sectors, for people with strong maths skills. These maths outcomes are the result of a great deal of focussed work across all the schools and this places us in a good position for the qualifications changes coming in the near future.

‘Once again there are reports from the schools of students attaining 10 or more A and A* results while other students should be recognised as having achieved excellent results through overcoming barriers to learning or personal challenges.’

The results published today are not comparable with results released in the UK this week. The UK results include all exam entries, including those from students in the Isle of Man as well as UK selective schools, independent schools and further education colleges where some of the candidates may be adults sitting just one GCSE. The Isle of Man data relates solely to 16-year-olds in Year 11 in the DEC’s secondary schools.

Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘Our results have held up well this year despite the reported turbulence in the English examination system and much of this is a reflection on the hard work undertaken by students in the run up to their exams with the support of their teachers and parents.

‘I would like to congratulate all of our young people on their examination achievements but would like to also take this opportunity to remind them that many of the other skills and attributes that they have developed as they have moved through our education system will help sustain them as they undertake post-16 courses either at school or at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education or, for a small minority of them, as they take up employment. Whichever direction they take, I wish them well.’

King William’s College says 38 per cent of all exams were awarded A or A* grades for its pupils, while 87 per cent were awarded A* - C grades.

More details in Tuesday’s Isle of Man Examiner, including lists all the GCSE passes.

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