Release date: 25/08/2016

Congratulations to all teenagers finding out the results of their GCSEs

This year’s results will be the first to reflect the new school performance measures, which were piloted in 2015 and rolled out in 2016.

On Thursday, headteachers, governors and trustees will only have pass rates available to digest.  National pass rates will also be publically available and schools will know the raw results data for their pupils.

Remember, GOLD NGA members can call us Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 to get their governance queries answered by our expert advice team: 0121 237 3782

The raw results, however, are to be used in combination with progress data to be released in the autumn as part of the headline Progress 8 measure and then the performance tables released in January 2017. 

So while at this point pupils will know how they have done, schools will not have the full picture until they have the progress data.

The attainment and progress data together affects how schools will stand in the performance tables. These scores will have additional consequences because they will now determine whether or not a school is deemed to be coasting.  Coasting schools become ‘eligible’ for intervention by Regional Schools Commissioners, whom have discretion to decide on the most appropriate course of remedial action to improve standards and may lead to academy conversion.

NGA's view on the English Baccalaureate 
The Government has not yet responded to its consultation: Implementing the English Baccalaureate, which proposed a 90% target for pupil take-up of the EBacc. NGA jointly hosted focus groups with the Department for Education as part this, which also informed our consultation response. NGA thinks that all pupils should be given the opportunity to study EBacc subjects, but not all pupils should be required to take it; for more detail see our position statement.

The National Picture

This year’s GCSE results are affected by a number of other important factors. Among them are:

Overall, the 2016 results for all 5,240,796 pupils show a decline in pass rates of 2.1% in the A*-C bracket, to 66.9%. But looking just at 16-year-olds, the decline in A*-C grade is less pronounced: 1.3%.

Key points

The gender gap has increased - with 71.3% of entries by girls getting a C grade or above, compared with 62.4% of boys.

Regional performance

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has detailed the regional variation in pass rates:




Overall, the proportion of candidates reaching grades A*-C in English has declined.  A*-C grades declined by 5.2 percentage points to 60.2 per cent. But among 16-year-olds only, the decline was just 1.3%.

According to JCQ the overall drop at C grade is may be attributed to 17-year-olds resitting the subject (as above) – this group saw a 8.2 percentage point drop at A*-C.


The overall proportion of candidate reaching grades A*-C in Maths declined by 2.3 percentage points.  But for 16-year-olds only the proportion achieving A*-C saw a 1.4% increase.


The number of entries for all age groups in Biology, Chemistry and Physics increased. At grade A*-C, Biology is down 0.4 percentage points, Chemistry down 0.9 percentage points and Physics down 1.1 percentage points.

Modern Foreign Languages

Despite the inclusion of modern foreign languages into the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure, overall language entries have fallen. There has been a 2.1% rise in Spanish entries but this contrasts with an 8.1% decline in French entries and a 7% drop in German entries.

Ofqual, the qualifications, examinations and assessments regulator in England has this summary of today’s results:

The number of entries for all subjects this summer is relatively stable at 5.3 million. The number of entries from 15 year-old students continues to decline and those from post-16 students continue to increase.

For all students across the UK:

·         The proportion achieving A* is down 0.1 percentage points to 6.5%.

·         The proportion achieving A* and A is down 0.7 percentage points to 20.5%.

·         The proportion achieving A*-C is down 2.1 percentage points to 66.9%.

·         The proportion passing (A*-G) is down 0.2 percentage points to 98.4%.

These outcomes reflect changes in the makeup of the overall cohort – in terms of the number of entries and overall ability – but looking at 16 year-old students only generally shows a pattern of stability.

Click here to view the Ofqual infographic

This page will be updated.

More on this:

NGA Blog on the power of data: how governing boards can make best use of the data available

Progress 8 measure in 2016, 2017, and 2018: a DfE guide for maintained secondary schools, academies and free schools - July 2016

TES – results, news and analysis for 2016’s GCSEs

Schools Week: results, news and analysis for 2016’s GCSEs

Book now for FFT events for governors and trustees: unpacking Progress 8 and getting to grips with your 2016 results

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