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Provisional GCSE Examination Results, 2008 22 August 2008

Students in the Island’s five secondary schools have been entered for more GCSEs than ever before. The range of subjects examined has increased again. The A*-C pass rate is a record high. The average point score per student is the highest on record.

Over 900 Year 11 students were entered for GCSEs and equivalent qualifications in the Island’s five secondary schools in 2008, in over 50 separate examination titles. The total number of full GCSE (or equivalent) entries was in excess of 8,700 with a further 700 entries for short course GCSEs. On average each student was entered for over 9.9 GCSEs, the highest figure ever.

Provisional analysis shows a very strong set of results:

• Over 5,600 full GCSEs (a record 64.1%) were passed at the higher grades, A*-C.

• The A*-G pass rate was 97.5%, marginally below the 2007 figure of 98.1% but in line with previous years.

• A total of 1511 entries (17.4%) produced A or A* grades up on 2007.

• The average number of subjects entered, at over 9.9 GCSE entries per student, was the highest ever.

Some of the most interesting features of this year’s results included the equivalent of over 390 GCSE A*-C passes in BTEC qualifications covering Business, Construction, Engineering, ICT and Sport. There were in addition to qualifications in Child Development, Hospitality and Catering and Health and Social Care. The 2008 results reflect the growing range of applied and vocational courses available in the Island’s schools. Some of these courses have been undertaken by secondary students attending for up to one day per week at the Isle of Man College throughout Years 10 and 11. Courses of this nature, delivered through growing collaboration between the schools and the College, are building the Island’s capacity to introduce the new Diploma system that is being piloted in England from this September.

Overall entries in languages were in line with last year, but one interesting feature of the results was the range of languages represented. There were GCSEs gained in no less than 9 different languages: Chinese, French, German, Irish, Italian, Manx, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish.

GCSE results always contain some extraordinary personal achievements. Sometimes these are simply outstanding results: one student was in the top 10 students in the UK in English Language, another student recorded 11A*s. But achievement takes other forms too and one student on the special needs register based in a school’s Learning Support Unit achieved the remarkable result of 6As and 4Bs. In relation to their ability, many students have obtained excellent results.

These results are not comparable with results released in the UK today. The UK results include all exam entries, indeed students sitting exams in the Isle of Man are included in those results. But also included are grammar schools, independent schools and FE Colleges where some of the candidates may be mature adults sitting just one GCSE. The Isle of Man data relate solely to 16 year olds on roll in the Island’s five secondary schools.

Minister for Education, Anne Craine said:

“I am enormously proud of what the Island’s young people are able to achieve. As with last week’s A levels, these results are excellent and have only come about because our young people and their teachers have worked extremely hard. I would like to congratulate these young people on their success and encourage them to develop their skills even further in the years ahead. Their achievement is our gain as the Isle of Man needs a workforce of the highest quality and these qualifications are an excellent foundation on which students can build.“

The Department of Education is now keen to encourage young people to examine the wide range of options and opportunities open to them. The Schools, the Isle of Man College and the Department of Education’s Careers Office in St George’s Court, Hill Street, Douglas can all offer information and advice.

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