GCSE results 2015

20 August 2015

Commenting on this year’s GCSE results, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group of universities, said:

“Congratulations to all those pupils receiving their GCSE grades today. We hope those aspiring to go to a leading university will think carefully about the next steps and pick their A-level or equivalent subjects wisely.

Choosing the right A-level subjects 

“We believe it is really important for all young people — especially those whose parents didn’t go to university — to have clear information about how the subjects that they choose to study in the sixth form or at college can affect their options at university and their chances in life.

“The Russell Group has worked hard to emphasise the importance of facilitating subjects. Our student guide Informed Choices provides advice on the best subject combinations for a wide range of Russell Group university courses.

“But there is still some way to go in improving other areas of advice and information for students. For example, too few bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds are being encouraged to apply to a leading university. Russell Group universities are constantly trying to spread the word that with the right grades in the right subjects a place at a Russell Group university is well within their grasp. But students need good advice and information from a range of key sources.

Modern languages

“We are concerned by a fall in the number of students studying modern foreign languages at GCSE – languages are vitally important to the UK if it is to be fully engaged with the world.


“We note that numbers of students taking separate science GCSEs have fallen again this year – albeit at a slower rate and with more taking the Further Additional Science qualification. We know, from previous years, that pupils who take separate science GCSEs are more likely to take and excel at STEM subjects at A-level. We hope the increase in Further Additional Science also results in more students taking science A-Levels in future. It would be a cause for concern if it does not.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Facilitating subjects at A-level are English literature, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography and modern and classical languages. These are subjects that are required more often than others by Russell Group universities.
  2. Our guide Informed Choices, first published in 2011, is put together in collaboration with the Heads of Admission at the 24 Russell Group universities and includes advice on the best subject combinations for a wide range of university courses as well as advice on the best choices for students if they don’t know what they want to study after school and need to keep their options open. It can be found on our website here.

Policy area

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