Derbyshire GCSE students buck the national trend with improved grades

Pupils celebrate  their GCSE results.
Pupils celebrate their GCSE results.
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GCSE students in Derbyshire have done their county proud by bucking the national downward trend and achieving an improvement in their grades.

Nationally, this year’s results have shown the biggest ever year-on-year decline – down to the lowest level since 2008.

But provisional results show that 62 per cent of Year 11 students in Derbyshire achieved grades A* to C in English and maths – an increase of 3 per cent from last year.

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Jim Coyle said: “I’m delighted that early indications show our GCSE students have bucked the national downward trend and achieved even better grades than last year.

“GCSEs are an important stepping stone for the future whatever route young people choose to follow, whether that be vocational or academic.

More than 7,500 students across the county’s 45 secondary schools received their results today (Thursday 25 August) with many outstanding stories from both schools and individual students.

Further education or training options open to Year 11 students are:

• Full-time education such as sixth form, college or work-based learning

• An apprenticeship

• Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week

Coun Coyle said: “Young people staying on in education or work-based training can develop better skills, create opportunities and have more chance of fulfilling their learning potential and getting a job they enjoy.

“Even if students don’t do as well as expected in their GCSEs, schools can put them in touch with advisers who can go through all the options open to them. These include a wide range of vocational qualifications and apprenticeships which will be showcased at our Skills Festivals.

“Whatever results students may have received today it’s important for them to know what options are open to them as they stay on in education or training.”

The county council’s Skills Festivals are Derbyshire’s largest careers events for young people and are aimed at students aged 15 to 19, including those in Year 11 who are considering their options after school. This year’s events will be held at:

• Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield, S40 2ND on Thursday 15 September between 3.30pm and 8pm.

• The Roundhouse, Derby College, Roundhouse Road, Derby, DE24 8JE on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September between 3.30pm and 8pm.

Training providers, the Armed Forces, larger employers and the county council’s community adult education service will be on hand to talk to young people. They will also be invited to take part in a range of have-a-go activities including forensic science, 3D printing and the use of technology in manufacturing.

There will be sessions for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and NEETs (young people who are not in education, employment or training) will also be invited.

Coun Coyle added: “I want to congratulate all the students for their hard work – and heads, teachers, staff, governors, parents and our school improvement service for supporting our young people in achieving their success.”

There is also a host of useful information for young people on the county council’s YOUTHINC website here.

Meanwhile, students who are not thinking about higher education can check out the Government’s apprenticeships website {www.apprenticeships.org.uk |herel|here}.