Latest GCSE results day updates: top performing areas revealed. the best results fall in private schools and rise in public schools (2023)

Basic points
  • Top GCSE grades fall - but remain above pre-pandemic levels
  • How GCSEs are graded - since numbers replaced letters
  • The gender achievement gap is the smallest since 2009
  • Music falls in popularity as business studies gain students
  • What can you do if you are not getting the results you want?
  • Live reporting fromJosephine FranksILauren Russell


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If you got your results today, hopefully you got the grades you wanted - but if you didn't, know that there will still be options for you and there will be people you can talk to about it.

Before you go, here's a recap of what happened today:


Teenager celebrates nine GCSEs after studying with cancer

Seb Murphy was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three and has faced significant health problems ever since - but today he celebrated getting nine GCSEs.

The 16-year-old from Leeds said it had been a "really difficult journey".

“The support of my family, friends and school kept me going, and I also had great support and good care in hospital.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time."

Seb is celebrating a Grade 9, five Grade 8s and three Grade 7s in his nine GCSE exams and will now take A levels in psychology, business, history and English literature.

He received a life-saving stem cell transplant in 2018, but his immune system was destroyed and he missed 18 months of school during treatment and recovery.

During the pandemic, he taught at Bradford High School thanks to a robot that sat in his classroom and streamed the action to his tablet at home.

He still faces health challenges and only has about a third of normal lung capacity, which affects his stamina and energy levels.


Top five tips on how to keep track of the day's results

After months of hard work, revision and what seemed like endless exam papers, results day can seem quite daunting.

Even after opening this folder, you may feel lost or unsure of what to do next.

Fortunately, the UK-based charity Mental Health Foundation has given their top five tips to get the first results and the year after.

1. Take time to take a moment for yourself

Work all day and take some time for yourself.

2. Make a plan after opening the results

Have something to look forward to, whatever that is. As 16-year-old Emily Farrar said, "now is the time to have fun."

3. Talk to your friends about how you feel

When you're ready, it can help to talk to someone about how you're feeling, whether it's friends, family, or someone else.

4. Know that you did your best

Try to accept your results.

5. Be proud of yourself

Be proud of yourself and your efforts and remember that you are worth more than your grades.

(Video) GCSE Pupils Open Their Exam Results Live On Air | Good Morning Britain


A jump in Spanish students - could the holidays be the reason?

The number of entries for Spanish increased this summer - by 11.3% compared to 2022 - and holiday habits may be the reason.

In fact, Spanish could overtake French as the most popular GCSE language if its popularity continues to grow at the same rate.

Claire Thomson from the AQA exam board said students may choose a language because it is perceived to be easier to learn.

"Grammar and pronunciation could be a bit easier at lower levels than, say, French and German," he said.

“I think there's more of a social thing, as well as actually, it's a popular holiday destination for a lot of families, so students can relate to that a bit more.

"It's also considered quite important around the world – there are around 400 million people who speak the language."


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British billionaire offers tips for results day

Arguably one of Britain's most successful businessmen is Richard Branson, and on results day he had some advice for students who may be feeling 'discouraged'.

"Being different is your greatest asset. In life, your curiosity, instinct, hard work and kindness will determine your success, not just grades," Branson wrote on X (formerly Twitter) today morning.

Like around six million people in the UK, Branson is dyslexic.

Working with the charity Made By Dyslexia, the 73-year-old aims to prove that you don't need to sit exams to make a difference.

"Without dyslexia I wouldn't have gone out into the world to try to create the things I'm interested in," he said.


Fall in GCSE enrollments in Wales 'no cause for concern' - Education Secretary

Fewer GCSE grades have been awarded in Wales this year than last year - but the Welsh Education Secretary told a Welsh reporterTom Evansit's not a cause for concern.

Jeremy Miles told Sky News the fall for the second year in a row was "no surprise" after previous years of high recruitment.

"I think one of the factors behind this year is the reduction in some of the early enrollment classes," he said.

“In the past young people often sat some exams in year ten and I think this year we have less.

"I don't think the numbers are anything to worry about.

"There's a different level of ability from year to year and I think, given the experiences of the last few years, they've been really great."

But shadow education secretary Laura Ann Jones of the Welsh Conservatives disagreed, calling the cuts "worrying".

"The decline in test applications is particularly significant among children from disadvantaged backgrounds," he said.


Excited for the future after a busy results day

Here are some other students who are now making their plans for the future after the results achieved.

Farjad Khan, a pupil at Kingsley Academy in Hounslow, says his results were "better than I expected" after battling nerves before today.

She was seven weeks, one six, one five and one four. He will study A-level biology, chemistry and maths with plans to study medicine.

"I feel happy, excited about the future," he said.

Patrick Gomes is off to study level three sport at college after getting a grade 8, some A's, A's and A's.

"I want a career in boxing, so if it doesn't work out, I'll go into sports," he said.

The impact of COVID was "tough", he said - "but we got through it".

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Restaurants provide free food to students on the day of results

Students who were anxious to get their results today will be able to buy free food at some restaurant chains.

Here are some of the places you can go to celebrate (or sympathize)…

He inherited

Students can claim a free 1/4 chicken or appetizer when they show their student ID and grades at checkout.

You will need to spend £7 or more and order at the till to eat in or collect from one of their restaurants.

Frankie i Benny's

Those who show their test results can get free pizza and coke.

Offer includes free margherita pizza (vegan and gluten-free options available) and regular Coke (Coke Zero, Regular Coke, Diet Coke).


You can get a free serving of garlic tortilla and regular coke if you show your test results.

TGI on Fridays

Students can get 23% off their food bill today, although they'll need to join the Stripes Rewards program to qualify.

Beautiful Italy

If you put your email on the sitehereyou can get a code for 30% off your grocery bill today.

You will need to prove that you have received your GCSE results on your server and also purchase at least one adult main exam.

Offer not available at Center Parcs, Edinburgh Hanover, Edinburgh Northbridge, Inverness or Portsmouth restaurants.

Wild forest

(Video) When your high school is famous 😱

Students can get free rosemary garlic bread, classic margherita pizza or spaghetti pomontoro if they show their age and valid test results.

There is also a minimum spend of £7 per person.

at Bill's

If you bring your student ID and proof of results, you can get a free dessert with any main purchase.


Iranian student receives results only after six months of study

Parna Aghababaei Darian is from Iran.

She has been at Kingsley Academy in Hounslow since February after moving from Turkey.

He got 5 in maths, 4 in science, 3 in language and 3 in geography.

"I feel good," he says.

“I think I could have done a little better for the language. From February until now, I think I did my best.

"I was in Turkey before - COVID affected me because I didn't like online learning."

After the sixth grade he goes to medical school where he will study chemistry, biology or physics and mathematics.


North-South achievement gap has 'taken a step backwards', admits education secretary

As we mentioned, this year's GCSE results show a clear gap in attainment, particularly between the north and south of England.

But Education Secretary Gillian Keegan played down suggestions the gap was widening in secondary schools - although she admitted there had been a "step back" in recent years.

"The achievement gap actually narrowed quite a bit from 2010 to before the pandemic," she said during a visit to Paddington Academy in west London.

“We were down 9.1%, which was great and we were very happy with that.

"There has now been a step back in the pandemic. We have put £5 billion into compensation. There have been almost four million coaching compensation courses and you see the evidence of the compensation in today's results."

Earlier, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, suggested the government had not invested enough in the education recovery from the pandemic and failed to tackle the UK's high levels of child poverty.



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