Northern Ireland

Significant rise in GCSE and A-Level grades in NI schools

school children read positive exam results Image copyright Getty/DGLimages
Image caption Most of the rise in GCSE performance was due to an increase in performance by non-grammar school pupils

There was a significant rise in the proportion of Northern Ireland school pupils who got the top A-Level and GCSE grades in 2017.

Some 69% of pupils got at least 3 A-Levels at grades A*-C, compared to 66.3% in 2016.

Over seven in ten pupils, 70.3%, got at least five GCSE's at A*-C including English and Maths, up 2.4% on 2016.

The analysis of the 2017 results has just been released by the Department of Education.

Most of the rise in GCSE performance was due to an increase in performance by non-grammar school pupils.

The proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals (FSME) achieving "good" grades has also risen.

Gap narrowed

Some 49.5% of FSME pupils achieved at least 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English and Maths in 2017.

That is up from 47% in 2016 and 34% five years ago.

Almost 58% of FSME pupils got at least three A-Levels at grades A*-C.

Girls also continue to outperform boys at GCSE and A-Level, though the gap has narrowed.

However, a significant percentage of pupils were ineligible to be included in the results data.

Seven per cent of year 12 pupils were not included in the GCSE results, while 3.8% of year 14s were not included in the A-Level results.

The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) has previously said that the number of pupils ruled ineligible to be included in reported exam results was too high.

They said some schools were excluding pupils from their overall exam results in order to improve their place "in media-published league tables".

Related Topics

More on this story