Students across Portsmouth are celebrating GCSE exam success today, with provisional data indicating that 52% of pupils achieved grade 4 and above in both English and maths.

2023 has seen a return to pre-pandemic grading as the next step in getting back to normal but giving the 2023 cohort some protection against any impact of COVID-19, similar to the protection that was put in place for the first cohorts of students taking reformed GCSEs and A levels from 2017 onwards.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “It was a joy to be at both Mayfield and Admiral Lord Nelson School this morning to share in the excitement of GCSE results day! I know how hard pupils and teachers have worked these past few years and there is the added pressure of the return to pre-pandemic grading.

“Congratulations to all Portsmouth students on their exam results. They should all be incredibly proud whatever their results.”

Chris Doherty, headteacher of Admiral Lord Nelson School said: “We’re overwhelmed with how well students have done despite all the challenges they’ve faced due to Covid, teacher strikes and so on. We’ve adapted what we do as a school over the years, and this has resulted in great success for our students obtaining their results today. Whatever the outcome, they should be extremely proud of themselves, just like we are.”

Young people who are worried about their grades can talk to the Portsmouth City Council Careers and Progression Team. They will be based in colleges next week to support any young people who are worried about their enrolment interviews. There will also be a drop-in tomorrow at the Hive (based in central library) from 11am – 1pm where advisers will be on hand to support young people.

For urgent help young people can call the careers team today on 07827 872372 or email Julie.Laws@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.