Students returned to school halls across Norfolk and Waveney today to find out their GCSE results and celebrate their success. 

Like last week's A-level results, the return to pre-pandemic grading has meant this year’s national GCSE scores were lower than they were last year, instead being similar to grades in 2019 – the year before the Covid-19 outbreak.

In England, the percentage of GCSE entries awarded the top grades (7/A or above) was 21.6pc – down from 26pc last year, but up on the 20.7pc in 2019.

The GCSE pass rate (entries awarded 4/C or above) was 67.8pc - which was also down from 73pc in 2022, and similar to the 67.1pc in 2019.

READ MORE: GCSE results day 2023: Full list of Norfolk and Waveney grades

Thetford & Brandon Times: Results day delight for students at Langley SchoolResults day delight for students at Langley School (Image: Langley School)

In the east of England, the percentage of students awarded top grades was 21.9pc, and the pass rate came in at 68.6pc.

Both followed the national trend, being lower than last year - 26.2pc for 7/A or above and 73.7pc for 4/C or above - but above 2019 levels (20.5pc and 67.1pc).

The trend in results comes after the pandemic led to a rise in top GCSE grades in 2020 and 2021, with grades based on teacher assessments rather than exams.

Last year’s GCSE students were the first cohort to sit exams after the pandemic, but they were afforded special measures to balance the disruption caused by Covid. 

Thetford & Brandon Times: Jumping for joy at Alderman Peel High School, in WellsJumping for joy at Alderman Peel High School, in Wells (Image: Alderman Peel High School)

Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Congratulations to all students on completing their GCSEs.

"I hope every single one is proud of what they’ve achieved and is excited about their next steps into further education, apprenticeships, or work with training.

“Today should also be a celebration of all our school and education staff including teachers, headteachers, assistants, support staff, and tutors - a huge thank you to all those who have worked with young people and adults”.