Pass rates for this summer’s GCSE maths and English resits in England have taken a big fall on last year, and a slight dip on pre-pandemic levels.
This summer marked the return of exams for the first time since 2019, after two years of disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For English, the proportion of male and female students achieving a grade 4 – equivalent to a C on the old system – is 28.4 per cent this year. That’s 13.9 percentage points lower than the 42.3 per cent rate in 2021 and 1.9 percentage points lower than 2019.
In maths, 20.1 per cent achieved a grade 4 for 2022 compared to 38.6 per cent in 2021 – an 18.5 percentage point fall – but just 1.1 percentage point down on 2019.
Women once again outperformed men in both subjects in 2022. For English, the grade 4 rate for men is 23.7 per cent compared to 35.2 per cent for women, while in maths 18.8 per cent for men was slightly lower than 21.2 per cent for women.
This year saw a 20 per cent drop in the number of English and maths resit entries. Figures show that entries for both subjects combined for those aged 17 and over in England totalled 239,055 compared to 299,132 in 2021.
The Joint Council for Qualifications said this is “probably due to relatively more of them getting the grades they needed for progression in summer 2021”.
Education secretary James Cleverly said pupils should be “incredibly proud”, especially given the “unprecedented disruption” they have faced.
He also thanked the “brilliant teaching profession”, parents and carers for their support for young people.
Kath Thomas, interim chief executive at JCQ, added: “Congratulations to all the students receiving their GCSE results today after lots of hard work and all the challenges of the pandemic.
“We’re pleased that exams are back, as they’re the fairest way to assess students and give everyone the chance to show what they know. This is the first time in three years that results have been based on formal exams and coursework, so it’s a welcome step back towards normality.”