Responding to 2022’s GCSE results, Jon Andrews, Head of Analysis at the Education Policy Institute, said: “Pupils receiving their GCSE results today have overcome significant disruption over recent years, which they should be highly commended for. A result of Ofqual’s strategy to gradually bring grades back to pre-pandemic levels, results for the 2022 cohort are lower than in 2021 by around 3.8 percentage points, but still remain above those from 2019.

“Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is that this morning’s results show the continuing divide in the attainment levels between different areas of England. Around a third of grades achieved by pupils in London were at grade 7 or above, while in the north and the midlands it’s under a quarter. While it’s unclear the extent to which this is a continuation of long-term trends of regional disparities, our research has previously highlighted education in the north and the midlands to have been, on average, more severely impacted by the pandemic than in other parts of the country. It’s clear the Government must do more to combat geographic inequalities in educational outcomes.”