Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

Education Minister welcomes publication of final exam statistics

Education Minister, John ODowd, has welcomed the publication of the revised Years 12 and 14 examination statistics for 2011/12.
Thursday, 21 March 2013

Provisional figures had been issued in November 2012; however, these have now been revised to include the results of those pupils who availed of an early re-sit opportunity in GCSE English and English Language examinations. Forty seven of the 211 schools included in the data collection recorded improvements in the key performance indicator of Year 12 pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including GCSE English and GCSE Maths.

The Minister said: “Following the issue of the 2012 GCSE results, concern had been raised by a number of schools about some of the results received by pupils who had taken their GCSE English exam with the AQA awarding body. I had previously offered pupils affected the option of an early re-sit opportunity and stated that the full statistics would be re-published when those results were known.

“I am pleased to see that the statistics show the percentage of Year 12 pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including GCSE English and GCSE Maths has risen from 59.2% in the provisional figures to 60.1% now. This equates to 194 more pupils achieving this key indicator since November and I congratulate those involved.”

The Minister continued: “While it is encouraging that the performance of our pupils has continued to improve in recent years the levels of underachievement in our education system remains unacceptably high and work is ongoing within my Department and the wider education sector to tackle this important issue. The Programme for Government has challenging targets set to increase the overall proportion of young people who achieve at least five GCSEs at Grades A*- C or equivalent including English and maths by the time they leave school to 66% by 2015 and I am committed to meeting this target.

“I have in place a coherent set of policies designed to improve educational outcomes for young people and to address the root causes when pupils are not achieving to their full potential. Results show that these policies are having an impact but the challenge now is to ensure their effective implementation by all schools so that the improvement in educational outcomes continues, especially for pupils in socially deprived areas.

“Other interventions, such as the Delivering Social Change project which will recruit 230 additional teachers, are also intended to have a positive impact by improving the educational outcomes for pupils who are most at risk of underachieving. Also, earlier this month, I announced an additional £3million to be targeted at raising educational standards in each of the next two years. This funding will lead to the development of literacy and numeracy programmes and community education initiatives in educationally disadvantaged areas.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “I am determined to ensure that we continue to take action, from the early years through to school leaving age, to support our children and young people to achieve to their full potential.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The full statistical data is available on the Department of Education website.
  2. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  3. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.