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Pupils rise to the challenge of new grading system

Schools in Staffordshire are getting to grips with the new GCSE grading system, as hundreds of pupils across the county nervously await their results this week.

Numerical grades have replaced the previous A*-G grades, giving schools more opportunity to get the very best out of their pupils.

According to Ofqual the exams regulator, a grade 7 is today’s equivalent of an A grade, with grades 7, 8 and 9, representing A and A* grades. Pupils achieving a grade 9 are exceeding the old A* grade.

Grades 4 and 5 are the equivalent of a grade C pass, with grade 5 being classed as a ‘strong pass.’

To help parents understand the new grades, Staffordshire County Council have set up a special page on their website, www.staffordshire.gov.uk/gcse.  As well as giving parents access to what the new grades mean, the website also explains the Attainment 8 and Progress 8 performance measures.

County Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Member for Learning and Employability said:

“Today sees the first time the majority of subjects graded with the new system, and I’m sure Staffordshire students will have risen to the challenge of tougher exams.

“This is the culmination of a challenging few months for GCSE pupils, and I want to congratulate each and every one of them for their achievements.  I wish them every success in the future whatever path they take.

“The new grades mean schools have the opportunity to really get the most out of their pupils, and help them achieve the qualifications they need to take their education and training further.

“We know that the new grading system will take time to bed in, which is why we’ve produced a guide for parents on our website.  That way, parents can fully understand and appreciate their children’s achievements.”

For more information on the new performance measures, visit the county council’s special dedicated website at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/gcse.