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The wait is over for thousands of GCSE students in the north

GCSE exam results will be heading to homes across Northern Ireland this morning.Picture: Mark Marlow
Gareth McKeown

THOUSANDS of pupils across the north will today learn if their hard work has paid off as they receive their GCSE exam results.

Around 30,000 students will receive their grades and the official figures are expected to show a notable drop in entries in Northern Ireland.

The school cohort in Year 12 (final GCSE year) decreased from 23,479 pupils in 2015 to 22,300 pupils in 2016 - a 5 per cent drop and in 2015 16-year-old's made up 75 per cent of the GCSE entry figures so there is likely to be a pronounced reduction in entries.

The performance gender gap will be another point of interest given the ongoing concerns over the performance of working class boys.

While boys have made steady improvement over the last decade and in 2015 closed the gap at grades A* to C, girls have stayed out in front.

Northern Ireland students traditionally outperform their UK counterparts.

In 2015, 78.7% of entries here achieved A* to C grades in GCSE examinations, with the equivalent UK figure standing at 69 per cent. A similar performance gap is expected this year.

Gerry Campbell, Chief Executive of Colleges Northern Ireland is expecting strong interest in the north's six Regional Further Education Colleges.

"The main advice I can give to any parent or student is – to assess the full range of options available and to make informed decisions," he said.

CCEA has set up a dedicated examinations helpline to offers advice and guidance for students.

In operation from 9am until 5pm until August 31 those with queries should call 028 9026 1260, email helpline@ccea.org.uk, or log onto the CCEA website.

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