After calls to toughen up exams across the country - it came as no surprise to teachers that those achieving the top grades in this year’s GCSE exams had fallen.
Nationally the proportion of test papers awarded at least a C was down by 1.3 per cent to 68.1 per cent.
Tests marked A* or A fell by more than one per cent too - to 21.3 per cent.
With declining results showing in the core English, maths and science subjects also, many teachers felt the dropping figures were not just down to tougher exams brought in after nearly 20 years of rising grades up to 2012.
Some felt the overall picture had been skewed by an increasing trend in pupils taking some of their exams a year early -and not performing as well.
Deputy head teacher at Heanor Gate Mark Blatchly admitted the school was disappointed its 51 per cent A* top C pass rate with English and maths - but felt the school had bucked the national trend through a series of exceptional individual performances
He said: “Twenty pupils, that’s nearly ten per cent of the year group achieved nine or more A and A* equivalent grades, which we are absolutely delighted with.”
Pupils disappointed with their results can call the The national Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000.