EARLY indications show Cumbria’s GCSE results are on course to deliver an improvement on last year’s figures, said the county council.

Weeks of waiting came to an end today for thousands of students as they learned what they achieved in their GCSEs.

Initial returns from 31 of Cumbria’s 37 secondary schools and academies indicate there has been an increase on the overall number of students gaining five or more good passes at GCSE including English and Mathematics when compared to the 56.5 per cent who achieved this standard last year.

The council also warned of 'volatile results' due to changes in the exam system.

"Today’s GCSE results need to be set in the context of a reported national drop in English grades due to changes this year in the examination system and potentially volatile results as reported by the exam boards last week," said a county council spokesman. 

"The council will have a much clearer picture of overall performance across the county after the full results are announced in October, when the authority will also be able to reflect on further local and national comparisons."

Coun Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Once again, my congratulations go to all the students in Cumbria who have received examination results today.

"The results are an enormous credit to these young people and provide an indication of the hard work and commitment they have shown over the last couple of years.

“Everyone involved in education across Cumbria has been focused on improving the outcomes for students and we must also recognise the key role that both parents and teachers play in supporting young people to do the best they can. In the current economic climate the young people of Cumbria face increasingly tough competition for courses and jobs, so it is essential that everybody is working together to support them.”

John Macilwraith, Cumbria County Council’s Acting Corporate Director of Children’s Services, said: “While it is concerning again this year to hear of the reported national turbulence in English results, it is great news that Cumbria’s schools are overall reporting increased percentages of students gaining five or more A*-C grades including English and mathematics than last year.

“We hope that all students progressing into further education, employment and training have obtained the results they need to do so. If any of our young people collecting results today are unsure about their next step it is important they seek appropriate help and guidance. Local Inspira offices can provide information, guidance and contacts about the many options available.”

Check the Gazette's website throughout the day as we publish results from all local schools.

Please send any pictures or success stories to mike.addison@nqnw.co.uk.