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Cllr Dáire Hughes, Mayor, Newry and Mourne District Council has congratulated young people from the area who received GCSE results yesterday noting the number of students achieving A*-C grades increased this year.

Commenting the Mayor said "Well done all from the Newry & Mourne area who received GCSE results today. They should be proud of the hard work they have put in towards their GSCEs. It can be an emotional time for young people and I would encourage anyone with concerns about the results they have received today to work with careers advice providers to help them make the best choices about their future." 

This year:

78% of entries at GCSE here achieved grades A*-C, an increase from 76.5% in 2013.

The top grades, A*-A, were awarded to 28.2% of entrants, a slight increase from 28% in 2013.

The A* grade was awarded to 8.9% of entrants compared to 8.7% in 2013.

The overall pass rate has remained the same as last year, with 99.2% of grades awarded at A*-G.

Compared to 2013, the proportion of entries for English getting grades A*-C rose by 4.2 percentage points to 73.0%.

 

Compared to 2013, the proportion of entries for maths getting A*-C rose by 1.6 percentage points to 66.2%.

Department of Education Minister John O'Dowd noted that local young people have performed strongly yet again, with increases in the proportion of students achieving the A*-C grades and in those achieving the very highest A* and A grades.

Congratulations go to the 5 Sacred Heart Grammar School girls who obtained 10 A* grades. left to right; Jayne Hearty, Meabh Monaghan, Daisy Eccles, Helen Monaghan and Aine Cassidy.  Photograph : Newraypics.com
Congratulations go to the 5 Sacred Heart Grammar School girls who obtained 10 A* grades. left to right; Jayne Hearty, Meabh Monaghan, Daisy Eccles, Helen Monaghan and Aine Cassidy. Photograph : Newraypics.com

Congratulating those who got results, Minister O’Dowd said: “Today is a momentous occasion in the lives of thousands of local young people. It can be a time of high emotion but it should also be a time for young people to be proud of the hard work they have put in over the last two years towards their GCSEs.

“These young people now face choices about their future. Many will decide to continue their studies, either at their current school or perhaps in a new one. For some, the best choice will be to move into further education or into training or employment.

“Whatever choice they make and whatever grades received, I offer my sincere congratulations to all who have received results today.

Our Lady's Grammar School Students Shannon McAteer and  Ellen Brown celebrate both  getting  10 A*'s   in there exam results. Photograph : Newraypics.com
Our Lady's Grammar School Students Shannon McAteer and Ellen Brown celebrate both getting 10 A*'s in there exam results. Photograph : Newraypics.com

“Inevitably there will be some who may feel disappointed that they did not achieve the grades they had hoped for. To those I say, do not panic; this is only one chapter in your life, seek advice and move on to the next chapter. Talk to your teachers, to your parents and families and make use of the services available that can provide useful help and guidance. There is a future pathway for every young person and these services can help identify the right one for you.

“Those who do stay on at school will experience even greater choice in their post-16 studies. From the new academic year, the Entitlement Framework policy will ensure that young people have access to at least 24 courses, both general and applied, offering clear progression routes to further and higher education, training and employment.”

Newry High School  students , Hanna Kennedy, Aimee McGowan, Brian Graham and Chloe Henning   who celebrated getting their exam results. Photograph : Newraypics.com
Newry High School students , Hanna Kennedy, Aimee McGowan, Brian Graham and Chloe Henning who celebrated getting their exam results. Photograph : Newraypics.com

The Minister went on: “I am encouraged to note that attainment by local pupils has again improved in English and maths, and overall, and that our young people continue to outperform their counterparts in other jurisdictions. This is down to their hard work and commitment and the sound support and encouragement they have received from their families, friends and teachers.

“I strongly believe, however, that progress remains to be made in future years to continue to raise standards and narrow the performance gap between the highest and lowest achievers. The number of pupils leaving school without five good GCSEs, including English and maths, has fallen in recent years and still too many finish their time at school without reaching this important benchmark. It is a key commitment of mine to continue to tackle this ongoing issue.”

Sacred Heart Grammar School Students celebrate outstanding success following release of GCSE results. Photograph: Newraypics.com
Sacred Heart Grammar School Students celebrate outstanding success following release of GCSE results. Photograph: Newraypics.com

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “The importance of making an informed decision following exam results is imperative to effective career planning. Taking time now to explore options will pay dividends in the future. There are many opportunities available to you and I would urge you to examine these fully. My Department’s Careers Service provides professional, impartial careers help to people of all ages, tailored to individual needs. This includes assistance with CVs, job applications and interviews and advice on job trends, including industry sectors and occupations which will be important in the future.

Our Lady's Grammar School Students  open their results  Caitlin Fearon, Mollie Milner, Holly McAllister and Julie Brady. Photograph: Newraypics.com
Our Lady's Grammar School Students open their results Caitlin Fearon, Mollie Milner, Holly McAllister and Julie Brady. Photograph: Newraypics.com

“Young people and parents can also access a wealth of useful information through the Careers Service www.nidirect.gov.uk/careersexternal link which also contains contact details of all careers advisers throughout Northern Ireland. Alternatively you can call 0300 200 7820.

“Northern Ireland’s further education colleges also offer you the opportunity to study from a wide range of full-time courses to suit your career path, with options including A levels, GCSEs, NVQs and apprenticeships. You may want to consider an apprenticeship, where you have the opportunity to develop specialist skills, using new technology, giving you the chance to earn while you learn and gain qualifications that are recognised worldwide.

“Training for Success can also provide you with an opportunity to gain the skills necessary for employment, letting you enter at the level that matches your needs, develops your employability skills and allows you to gain nationally recognised qualifications. Further information is available on the www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills ”

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