‘Resilient’ Year 11s receive GCSE results

MAGNIFICENT YEAR: Celebrating at Claremont Senior School

STUDENTS across Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas collected their GCSE results last Thursday (August 24), with results across local schools topping the national picture.

Like A-Level results the previous week, GCSE grading, too, was brought back to pre-pandemic levels this year, resulting in a fall in top marks.

As predicted, the pass rate across the country (grades marked at 4 – equivalent to a grade C and above), had dropped from the Covid grade spikes.

Jon Sparke, Headteacher of Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Tunbridge Wells said he was “full of admiration” for his students, who saw their studies “profoundly disrupted” by the pandemic, which first impacted their education in KS3.

Of all entries in the UK, (excluding Scotland, who did not sit GCSEs), 68.2 per cent made the pass mark.

The southeast of England scored over 10 percentage points higher than the national percentage of grades, with 79.7 per cent of entries awarded a 4 or above.

Top grades in the South East also ranked above the UK average, with 24.4 per cent of entries hitting a 7 or above (equivalent to an A grade). Nationally, 22 per cent of entries got top marks.

When it came to subjects, Business Studies saw the biggest percentage rise for any subject, with at least 100,000 entries across the UK. This was a jump of 14.8 per cent from last year.

The lead enjoyed by girls over boys for the top grades also narrowed this year. The proportion of female entries awarded 7 or above was 24.9 per cent, 5.8 percentage points higher than male entries (19.1 per cent). This is the narrowest lead enjoyed by girls since 2009.

Amanda Simpson, Headteacher of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys praised her students’ “determination” despite of the “lingering impact of the pandemic”.

“Their determination will stand them in good stead for their future study or training,” she said.

Keith Slattery, Head of School at Beacon Academy, Crowborough also praised the “resilience” of the students at his school.

“Their dedication, resilience, and determination have been truly inspiring, and they should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments”, he said.



Bennett was pleased with “strong” results, with a third of all GCSE entries achieving top grades (9-7) and 90 per cent of students achieving five or more grades 9-4, including English and Maths.

Ed Dickie, Headmaster of Claremont Senior School, East Sussex, who akin to Bennett, saw more than a third of students achieve top grades, said: “We are deeply proud of those students who achieved academically outstanding results this week and look forward to supporting them as they look towards applying to the top universities in the future.”

St Gregory’s Catholic School is “delighted” with its results, with 75 per cent of students achieving the pass mark, including BTEC qualifications.

Skinners’ School had plenty to celebrate with 61 per cent of grades at 9-7 and 20 per cent at 9.

Twenty-three Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School pupils achieved five or more Grade 9s.

Uplands Academy, Wadhurst, saw 71 per cent of students achieving grades 9-4 in both English and Maths.

Kent College Pembury saw one in 10 pupils achieve straight 8s and 9s.

Benenden, Cranbrook, had 82 per cent of all grades marked at 9-7, the highest rate seen since 2016 (excluding the Covid-affected years).

Mayfield had one in four grades awarded at grade 9. Headteacher Jonathan Forster was particularly pleased that Kseniia, who joined Mayfield at the end of Year 10 on a full bursary after leaving Ukraine due to war, achieved grades 9-7 across all her GCSE exams.

Mascalls Academy will be welcoming a record number back into Sixth Form, following a positive set of results.

For those who didn’t achieve the grades they hoped for, a number of options are available. These include qualifications for A-Levels, apprenticeships, retaking key GCSEs or having one’s exams re-marked.

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