GCSEs: NI pupils outperform rest of UK in A*-C grades
Pupils in Northern Ireland have outperformed those in the rest of the UK in terms of A*-C grades at GCSE.
About 30,000 local students received their 2016 exam results on Thursday.
Overall, the number of entries awarded A* to C grades in Northern Ireland increased by 0.4% to 79.1%.
That is much higher than the overall performance of students across the UK, where 66.9% of all entries achieved A* to C grades.
Northern Ireland entries achieving A* and A grades also improved on 2015, up by 0.5% to 29.1% and 9.3% of entries received the top A* grade, up from 9% in 2015.
Girls outperform boys
There were also improvements in GCSE English results, but the Maths results worsened.
Girls continue to outperform boys across the UK, with the gap widening by 0.5% since 2015.x
While 75.3% of entries from boys achieved A* to C grades, slightly up from last year, 82.9% of entries from girls attracted those grades.
In 2016 the proportion of entries in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grew again, meaning they now make up almost a third of all GCSEs taken.
There were also more students taking GCSEs in biology, chemistry and computing.
However, entries for most languages fell again in 2016, with declines in the number taking French, Spanish and Irish at GCSE.
Many of those getting their results will go on to further study in their schools or in FE colleges.
However a significant number of pupils, especially from disadvantaged areas, will leave school with few qualifications.