The gap between the results of boys and girls is narrowing, as 16-year-olds across the UK find out how they fared in their GCSEs following a major overhaul of the exams.

Boys and girls achieving grade 4 or C and above worked out at 64.6% and 73.8%, respectively, representing a 0.5 percentage point decrease.

The same was true among higher achievers, with 24.6% of girls achieving GCSEs at grade 7 or A and above compared to 18.1% of boys, or a narrowing of 1.1 percentage points.

The majority of exam results come from the new GCSEs. New exams were sat in English and maths last year, but a further 20 subjects were added this summer.

A new grading system for GCSEs was also used, with the numbers 9 to 1 replacing the old letter grades. A* to A was split into grades 7 to 9, and 4 and above replaced C and above.

Today’s results also showed:

  • London remains the strongest performing region, while almost all other regions have seen improved performance on last year—with the Southwest seeing the biggest improvement at grades 4 or C and above
  • Girls outperformed boys at the top grade 9—Ofqual figures show 732 pupils who sat seven or more reformed GCSEs have managed to get straight 9s across those subjects—68% of this group were female and 32% male. This year, 2,025 candidates achieved all grade 9s in English language, English literature and maths compared to 2,050 last year

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “Congratulations to all the pupils getting their results today. All of their hard work—and that of their teachers—has paid off and I hope that this is the first step to a bright and successful future. Whatever they choose to do next—whether it is staying at school, going to college, or starting an apprenticeship—these qualifications will give them a solid base of knowledge and skills that they can build on.”

“Thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, education standards are rising in our schools and pupils have shown their abilities by achieving excellent results today, with so many pupils meeting and exceeding the standards we expect.”

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