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GCSE pupils anxiously await their vital results
TOMORROW will determine whether years of studying will have paid off for scores of students across Hampshire as GCSE results are released.
The surge in numbers has been seen in Southampton with the numbers of teenagers signing up to more hands-on training soaring.
Over the past three years City College Southampton has seen a doubling of enrolment numbers on their apprenticeship and vocational courses.
In the last academic year there were 147 apprentice starts for 16 to 18 year olds, while 187 students aged 19 and over also started schemes.
Vice Principal Ivan Gregory said: “Students who study vocational courses, which combine classroom learning with hands-on work, are just as able to gain university places and jobs as those who take straight A-levels.
"Interestingly, the fact that they have the practical experience often works to their advantage and it is certainly a quality that is soughtafter by employers. It is this desire in the workplace for practical skills combined with academic knowledge that led us to offering A-levels alongside vocational qualifications, giving the best of both worlds.”
Head teachers and their staff will be hoping to build on the success of recent years where Southampton has continued to close the gap on the national average pass rates.
However, performance was hit last year by the controversy surrounding the boundary changes by exam boards marking English papers.
Hampshire registered a dip in performance with 59 per cent of students achieving the benchmark figure of five A* to C grades including maths and English, compared with 60.8 per cent the previous year.
In Southampton teachers were hoping for a “big leap” up the league tables with forecasts predicting record-breaking progress. In the end the city still recorded a respectable 2.7 per cent increase in the benchmark figure with 54.4 per cent of students attaining five A* to C grades including maths and English.
But according to teaching leaders, that figure could have been as much as a ten per cent higher. The national pass rate fell for the first time since O-levels were replaced with 69.4 per cent of entries earning grades A*-C, compared with 69.8 per cent in 2011.
Schools are today hoping that there will be no repeat of those scenes.
FOR full and comprehensive coverage of GCSE results day log on to dailyecho.co.uk/education where all the breaking news will be reported as it happens.
Reporters will be at schools across the county as teenagers pick up their results.
We will capture the scenes of celebrations and commiseration as students learn whether all their hard work has paid off.
Along with the live blog that will be running throughout the day with pictures and videos there will also be a comprehensive round-up in Friday’s paper with an eightpage special supplement covering schools across our region.
FOR many youngsters tomorrow’s results will secure a safe passage through to further education or apprenticeship schemes while for others it may mean making difficult decisions about their future.
With that in mind information sessions are being held in Southampton. Experts offering advice and organisations offering apprenticeships, training and other options will be at the city’s Bargate market on Friday.
The session, which will run from 9am to 5pm, is also open to youngsters who received their A-level results.
City College is also providing free advice to school pupils from Southampton and the surrounding areas who have received their GCSE results. Young people can visit the college in St Mary Street, Southampton from 8.30am to 5pm every weekday - but for GCSE results day, it will be open for an extra two hours until 7pm.
To find out more about apprenticeships on offer visit southampton-city.ac.uk/Apprentice.
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