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Northern Ireland news

Thousands of GCSE pupils receive long-awaited results

Thousands of GCSE students will receive their results today. Picture by Gareth Fuller, Press Association

A 71-YEAR-OLD will be among the thousands of GCSE students across Northern Ireland who will receive their results today.

The Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) said a total of 29,170 students will receive results from the exam body.

The youngest person receiving a GCSE from the CCEA is ten, while the oldest is 71.

Although the majority of students will receive A*- G qualifications, a small percentage will be given numerical grades.

Around three per cent of pupils who have sat English Literature and Maths GCSEs with British exam bodies AQA, OCR, Pearson and Eduqas will receive a numerical grade amid the biggest exam shake-up in a generation.

In England, pupils have moved to a numerical results system, with nine the highest grade and one the lowest.

However, in November 2015, then education minister John O'Dowd decided to maintain A*-G grades in the north. The following year, his successor, the DUP's Peter Weir, decided to allow numerical grades for pupils sitting tests set by English exam bodies.

By 2019, the CCEA will also see a shake-up of grades. While pupils in the north will continue to receive A*- G qualifications, the grades will be changed to reflect the English system.

Writing in today's Irish News, Justin Edwards, chief executive officer of the CCEA, explains the changes, including the addition of a new C* grade.

Pupils who begin their GCSE study next month will be the first to receive the new grades.

Meanwhile, the CCEA has set up a helpline for anyone receiving GCSE or A-Level results this summer.

The helpline opened yesterday and will remain open between 9am and 5pm until August 30.

CCEA examinations manager Michael Crossan said results day was a "momentous" occasion for students.

"The helpline has proved to be a highly important and valuable service that provides reassurance and guidance during what can be an anxious and stressful time," he said.

Anyone with a query can contact CCEA on 028 9026 1260, email helpline@ccea.org.uk or log on to www.ccea.org.uk

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