Positive exam figures welcomed by Education Minister O’Dowd

John O’Dowd says the new figures are proof that his policies are working John O’Dowd says the new figures are proof that his policies are working
By Staff Reporter

The number of students attaining five GCSEs or more at a minimum grade of C has passed the two-thirds mark.

67 per cent of pupils are in that bracket, compared to 65.2 per cent in the year 2013/14, according to figures just released by the Department of Education.

There’s further good news for Education Minister John O’Dowd with the gap between the exam performances of grammar and non-grammar school getting ever closer and the performance of children on free school meals seeing a hefty improvement of seven per cent.

That’s slightly tempered, though, by the news that there’s been another drop – albeit very small – in the number of students scoring three or more A-Levels at a minimum grade of C. 64.9 per cent of pupils are in that bracket, compared to a figure last year of 65 per cent.

Around 21,000 Year 12s sat GCSEs this year, with just over 13,000 sitting A-Levels.

Girls continue to significantly outperform boys with 70.9 per cent scoring five or more GCSEs at a minimum C, with the figure for boys standing at 63.2 per cent. The equivalent A-Level gender figures stand at 67.7 per cent for girls and 61.2 per cent of boys.

The amount of pupils not sitting GCSEs – for a variety of reasons including ill-health and home difficulties – has gone up in the past year from 6.8 per cent to 7 per cent.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “These statistics show a significant measure of continued success in relation to the school improvement policies I have put in place and provide evidence that they are working for our young people.”

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