Last updated: 21.08.14

GCSE results show rise in grades

Young people across the UK are receiving their GCSE results today (August 21st) and the average across all subjects shows a rise in A* to C grades.

However, a drop in English standards has also been uncovered and Brian Lightman, head of the Association of School and College Leaders, suggested the "volatility" of the changes in the education system over the last couple of years will have had an impact on individual results.

Speaking to BBC News, he explained there are some students who have received "shock" results because of the reforms pushed through by the government.

"All of this piecemeal change to GCSEs means that is incredibly difficult for schools to forecast what grades students might expect to achieve, or indeed to compare the school's results with previous years," said Mr Lightman.

"Consequently the statistical trends are becoming less and less meaningful. Young people are not statistics. They are individuals whose life chances depend on these results."

The National Union of Teachers' leader Christine Blower added that the release of this year's GCSE results "mask underlying issues which will only become clear over time", adding exam entrants had to "cope with a raft of rushed through and ill-conceived changes to the qualifications system and so today's results are especially commendable".

Online learning has been among the positive changes made to education in recent years, with students given the chance to learn at their own pace, reducing the chances of them being left behind by their peers, which can cause resentment and disillusionment with education.

Virtual College is among the providers supplying online learning resources and tools relevant to training at each level, with the organisation already having links to 2,000 schools. Virtual College also works with apprenticeships, with this becoming a high growth area in the education sector.

"Colleges and independent training providers are also a particular area of focus," says the company. "We partner with these providers, working closely with them to create specific online learning resources which cover their selected areas of subject expertise."