Commenting on the GCSE results, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Congratulations to the young people and their teachers who have worked tirelessly to deliver yet another year of excellent results.

“Today’s results provide an opportunity to celebrate the commitment and achievement of the workforce and our children and young people which is a hallmark of our public education service.

“With this year’s results including for the first time a number of students resitting English and maths, we must be very cautious of comparing last year’s GCSE results to this year and drawing simplistic conclusions on pass rates.

“The only way to draw accurate comparisons is once the figures have been broken down further to compare like-for-like cohorts of GCSE students.

“There is a similar risk of comparing different parts of the country, particularly areas of London with other areas of England.

“London’s success is a result of the former Labour Government’s policy to raise standards by building collaborations between schools in the city and ensuring those schools identified as underperforming were given the support they need.

“This has not been the case for many other parts of the country, including coastal towns.

“It is therefore clear that collaboration between schools is essential to raising standards, yet the current government’s academies programme is putting barriers against this approach.

“There is also an alarming drop in the number of students taking artistic, practical and creative subjects at GCSE, which is a direct result of the EBacc.

“The NASUWT has long raised concerns about the EBacc undermining critical subjects such as design and technology and art, despite their clear link to many careers and occupations in sectors that the UK thrives in.

“This is a disturbing consequence of the accountability regime now placed on schools.”

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