GCSEs: Newham pass rate drops for the first time in nine years

File picture: PA Wire/Chris Radburn

File picture: PA Wire/Chris Radburn - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Thousands of students throughout Newham woke up early in eager anticipation of their GCSE results yesterday.

For many there were celebrations of outstanding achievement but the borough fell victim to a national drop in pass rates due to recent changes to make the exams more “rigorous”.

Following nine successive years of increasingly higher pass rates, Newham secondary schools just missed out on a decade of steadily improving grades.

In total, 57.7 per cent of students achieved the government gold standard of five A* to C GCSEs or equivalent including English and maths.

This represents a 4.3 per cent drop from 2012 in which 62 per cent of pupils gained the same grades.

The Council adds that the percentage for 2013 is subject to change after appeals for remarking and other administrative changes - last year’s final figure rose by two per cent following such amendments.

Councillor Quintin Peppiatt, cabinet member for children, said: “We should congratulate the many young people in Newham secondary schools who have passed with flying colours owing to their hard work along with the support of parents, guardians and school staff.

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“The picture is however a mixed one. There can be no doubt that after nine successive years of improvement in GCSE pass rates some pupils have suffered from the uncertainty brought about by changes in central government policy.

“We will redouble our efforts with all Newham maintained secondary schools to understand these challenges better so that we can continue to work together to drive up standards and results.”