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Almost a quarter of GCSE exams sat at private schools were awarded a grade 9

This year, almost a quarter (23.1 per cent) of all private school GCSE exams were awarded a grade 9, the highest possible mark.

The new top grade for GCSE was designed to split the A* and recognise the highest achieving pupils. Nationally, 4.7 per cent of all GCSEs taken by English 16-year-olds were graded a 9 this year.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC), which publishes its own analysis today, said that 23.1 per cent of exams sat at its member schools were awarded a 9. This is based on a like-for-like comparison of the 512 schools that submitted results both this year and last year.

The proportion of candidates achieving at least one of the top grades — a 9, 8 or A* — was 74.4 per cent, up from 73.7 per cent last year. And the average number of GCSEs taken per candidate was 9.4.

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC, said: “Independent school pupils and their teachers should feel incredibly proud of their achievements, especially in light of the significant exam reforms that have taken place — the impact of which is still being felt by many schools regardless of sector. It is very impressive to see such a high proportion of entries awarded a grade 9.”

The ISC’s exam results analysis, which looked at 350,937 entries from 37,389 candidates, is based on provisional data.

Read more at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/30/private-school-pupils-fewer-gcses-ever-headteachers-push-pursue/

Child starting school or university? What all parents need to know

It is always a challenging time for parents when children embark on a fresh chapter. You want to support them without smothering them. The goal, ultimately, is to raise an independent adult, but what’s the best way to do that?

Parenting and educational experts say that the key principles are the same, whatever stage your child is at. Be aware of your anxieties so that you don’t transfer them. Be positive and show your children you have faith in their competence. Let them manage their own problems. And ask and listen before you jump in with advice.

Read more at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/weekend/child-starting-school-or-university-what-all-parents-need-to-know-f6hwzn0dg

See also Best Schools advice for parents of new boarders