GCSE results fall in England after anti-grade inflation plans forced through


Tens of thousands of teenagers have been forced to rethink their future options after GCSE results fell in England as ministers forced through plans to eradicate grade inflation accumulated during the pandemic.

Top grades in England were down more than four percentage points on last year’s results, leading to disappointment for many pupils – with 22.4% of results for 16-year-olds at grade 7 or above, equivalent to an A.

Results were expected to fall after the government announced plans to return grades to 2019 levels, though this year’s results still hovered slightly above pre-pandemic levels when 21.9% of grades were 7 and above. At the peak of grade inflation in 2021, 30% of entries were awarded top grades.

In the key subjects of English and maths – which is compulsory for 16-year-olds in England – boys performed surprisingly well compared to pre-pandemic results. For boys, substantially higher proportions of entries gained grades 7 and above in English, up by two percentage points to 14.5% compared with 2019. The proportion of girls gaining a grade 4 pass or better actually fell slightly to 77.5%.