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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
'Steady progress' for NI GCSEs
Pupils taking exam
Thousands are waiting for their GCSE results
Northern Ireland girls continue to outperform boys in GCSE examinations, according to the latest results.

The percentage of entries gaining grades A* - C has risen by 1.4% to 68.4% this year.

Pupils will receive their results on Tuesday.

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) said students had maintained the steady progress of recent years.

Exam results
A* 6.1% (6.2% in 2001)
A* - A 21% (20.2% in 2001)
A* - C 68.4% (67% in 2001)
A* - G 97.7% (97.3% in 2001)

While the top line figure for A* grades had dropped by 0.1% to 6.1%, "the overall picture is still one of improvement", said the council.

The figures identify the performance of students taking exams with all awarding bodies operating in Northern Ireland.

Those taking some of their exams with boards in England and Wales will receive their full set of results on Thursday.

The CCEA said of the 202713 entries, 73% of female candidates gained grades in the A* - C range, compared to 63.5% of males.

'Excellent performance'

The council said it was confident Northern Ireland pupils would maintain the performance gap over their peers in England and Wales when all of the results were in.

CCEA Chief Executive Gavin Boyd said: "Congratulations to the many thousands of young people receiving results today.

"They have carried on the tradition of excellent performance by our students in public examinations.


This success must be attributed to the commitment of pupils and the guidance and support they have received from their teachers and parents

Martin McGuinness
Education minister

"I wish them all the best whatever they choose to do next."

The overall GCSE statistics for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be released by the Joint Council for General Qualifications on Thursday.

Education Minister Martin McGuinness and Employment and Learning Minister Carmel Hanna welcomed the results.

Mr McGuinness said: "High standards have once again been achieved in this year's GCSE examination results, with over 68% of local candidates achieving A* - C grades, an increase of 1.4% on the previous year.

"This success must be attributed to the commitment of pupils and the guidance and support they have received from their teachers and parents.

"Pupils now have to choose whether to stay at school, go into further education and training or enter the world of employment."

Mrs Hanna said: "I would like to congratulate pupils on their achievements in GCSE. Once again an improved performance indicates the high level of effort being made by our pupils and teachers.

"Each pupil is now faced with an ever widening range of options. It is vitally important that informed choices are made about the next step."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Julie McCullough:
"More than two-thirds achieved top marks"

Main proposals

Other changes

Analysis: Mike Baker
See also:

12 Feb 02 | Education
21 Aug 01 | N Ireland
21 Aug 01 | N Ireland
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