Weir congratulates GCSE students on results day

Date published: 20 August 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir has congratulated GCSE students who received their results today.

Minister McIlveen congratulating A-Level pupils

The vast majority of these awards were made by the local examinations body, the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).

Earlier this week, the Minister announced candidates taking GCSEs awarded by CCEA will receive results based solely on the estimates provided by schools and colleges.

Minister Weir said: “I wish to congratulate all the young people who have received their GCSE results today.  These outcomes reflect the assessments made by the people who know you best, your teachers.

 “I appreciate the past few months have been particularly challenging but our young people have demonstrated a determination not to let this pandemic put their lives on hold. Today, they have been awarded qualifications which reflect their hard work and will enable them to move forward confidently with their future plans.

“Teachers and school leaders had a very difficult job to do and I want to express my appreciation for their hard work and commitment to their students in challenging circumstances.”

The CCEA qualifications awarded today show a 5.7 percentage point increase at grades A*-A, with these grades awarded to 37% of entries.  89.4% of entries were awarded grades A*-C, 7.6 percentage points higher than in 2019.

Girls continue to outperform boys, with 91.5% of entries by girls and 87.1% of entries by boys being awarded A*-C. The difference in the proportion of entries by boys and girls awarded grades A*-C has reduced from 7.6 percentage points in 2019 to 4.4 percentage points in 2020,  The proportion of entries from grammar schools achieving A*-C grades was 97.6% compared with 80.1% of entries from non-grammar schools.

The Minister also announced on Monday that AS and A level candidates will now receive revised grades based on the higher of the Centre Assessed Grade or the standardised grade. 

Concluding, the Minister said: “CCEA has completed the work to update these grades and the information has been sent to UCAS. The revised grades will be released to centres this afternoon with results available to students at 9am tomorrow, Friday 21 August.

“CCEA is also updating the appeals process in light of the developments this week and this information will be published on the CCEA website shortly.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Following a decision by the Minister earlier this week to set aside the standardisation process that was originally part of the alternative awarding arrangement he announced in April, CCEA has issued GCSE awards that are based on teacher assessment only.
  2. Standardisation, which is normally a key feature of awarding qualifications in Northern Ireland and across the UK, was to form part of the grading process.  Having received advice from CCEA and listened to the concerns of school leaders, teachers, parents and young people, the Minister decided that all GCSE candidates will now be awarded the grades submitted by their centre. 
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