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Pupils & learning

NGA comments on results for GCSE and vocational qualifications published today


On behalf of school governors and trustees across the country, NGA would like to congratulate all students receiving their GCSE and vocational qualifications today (25 August 2022). We want to highlight the hard work and resilience of students who despite the programme of support put in place by Ofqual and the adaptations that were made to accommodate the impact of the pandemic, have had to tackle a major disruption to their learning.

NGA would also like to commend the huge effort and dedication of school staff, leaders and those governing who have also shown such dedication as they have tirelessly worked to reduce the ongoing impact of the pandemic on learning and outcomes.

Today’s results mirror that of last week’s A-level results, being higher than in 2019 when students last sat summer exams but lower than teacher assessment based grades used at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Today's GCSE results continue to highlight the disparity of the ongoing effect of the pandemic on results and learning outcomes in different schools up and down the country. Due to this, governors and trustees continue to be aware that using today's results to draw comparisons school to school and with previous years can be misleading and NGA would therefore urge caution in how results are interpreted.

NGA continues to actively engage in the discussion around the current exam system and if it is fit for purpose. We share the opinion of our members that the current exam system for 14 to 19-year-old’s needs to be reformed.   

Sam Henson, NGA’s Director of Policy and Communications said:

“While the approach to grading was rightly to grade more leniently compared to 2019, no one can underestimate the huge strides that were needed from students, parents, teachers, support staff, and those leading our schools to arrive at the set of results we see today. Most comparisons will be made to 2019, but the assessment in the previous two years has been entirely different to what we have seen today. Grades being generally lower this year compared to what we saw in 2021 reflects the different approach – a decision taken centrally by the Ofqual and the DfE, and should not be seen as a dip in performance from our schools whose professionalism and dedication has been second to none during these trying and difficult times.”