The results from the first year of GCSEs with the new grading system of 9 to 1 and tougher exam papers have today been released, showing a drop in the number of students achieving a pass mark (grades C/4 and above) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The proportion of pupils acquiring grades 9-4 (A*-C) in maths dropped by 1.6 points compared to 2016, while in English literature only 72% achieved a grade 4 or above compared to 74% in the previous year. However when the results from students in England alone were reviewed, nearly 70% got a 4 or above. The trend continues in maths with about 70.7% achieving 4 or above, compared with 61.5% overall.

The Joint Council for Qualifications, which releases the national figures on behalf of the exam boards, said a significant shift in entry patterns had affected the results, and noted that comparisons between England, Wales and Northern Ireland were increasingly difficult- reports The Guardian.

According to the BBC, secondary school heads are concerned that the more challenging GCSEs will cause students to be more anxious and stressed in next year’s exams.

Helping schools to prepare students for exams and identify students who may struggling to cope is software solution, NetSupport DNA. Its classroom management tools allows teachers to test and assess students using quizzes, instant surveys and its unique Q+A module adds a gamification element to assessment. Meanwhile its safeguarding tools help monitor and identify safeguarding trends among students, enabling the school determine the appropriate action such as a class assembly to tackle the topic.