Thousands of pupils across Croydon are finding out their GCSE results this morning.
According to exam officials there has been a rise in A*-C grades across England, Scotland and Wales, but a slight fall in pass rates.
Nationally, 68.8 per cent of papers have been awarded the top grades, up 0.7 percentage points on last year.
Exams regulator Ofqual had predicted a higher degree of variability in results following reforms implemented by former education secretary Michael Gove.
Alisa Flemming, Croydon Council's cabinet member for children, families and learning, said early signs showed a "mixed picture" at the borough's schools.
She said: "We expect GCSE results to look quite a bit different from previous years due to changes introduced by the government in awarding grades and reporting the figures for each school.
"Early reports of the national picture are encouraging, although English scores look likely to be down everywhere"
The Croydon Guardian will update this story throughout the day as schools reveal their grades.
The Harris Federation's four Croydon academies were the first to unveil grades this morning, and posted mixed results.
At Harris Academy Upper Norwood saw 55 per cent of students achieve five A* - C grades including English and maths. This is up from 41 per cent before Harris's takeover last summer, when the school was known as Westwood Girls’ College.
But Harris Academy South Norwood saw a big drop in papers awarded the top grades from 76 to 64 per cent.
Harris Academy Purley celebrated 79 per cent of pupils achieving five GCSEs at A*-C including English and Maths , its highest since converting from Haling Manor High School in 2009.
Carol-Anne Alcock, the school's exective principal, said: "This is a landmark year for us: not only do we have the first year group to have had their whole secondary education at the Academy, but we also have achieved our best ever results.
"I would like to warmly congratulate our students and their teachers and parents. With good GCSEs, our students are in great shape for the A Levels and beyond."
Thilucksiri Ramaniharan, a Year 11 pupil a at Harris Academy Upper Norwood, reads her results
At Harris Academy Crystal Palace, 77 per cent of the year group achieved five A*-C grades including English and Maths - a fall from 82 per cent last year.
It said 20 pupils were celebrating ten A* or A grades, its highest number yet.
Hilary Macaulay, principal, said: "Congratulations and well done to our Year 11. Many of our students have excelled themselves and, across the year group as a whole, we are particularly pleased with our performance in the English Baccalaureate.
"This is made up of good grades in a host of academic subjects and will stand our students in good stead for their future learning.”
"May I also thank our staff who, as ever, have shown huge dedication to our students. Many of our Year 11 achieved higher results than would have been expected of them based on their starting points, and this is testament to our staff.”
Woodcote High School in Coulsdon also saw a drop in pupils achieving five A*-C grades, from 81 per cent last summer to 77 per cent this year.
Headteacher Mark Southworth blamed Government changes to entry policy, which he said meant "a small number of our most vulnerable students have suffered from not being able to take their exams in smaller units and thus build up their confidence over the whole GCSE course.”
But a record number of the school's pupils hit the highest grades, with 55 its cohort achieving at least five A* or A grades.
And half of its Year 11 pupils achieved the English Baccalaureate, awarded to pupils who get which five A*-C grades in subjects including English, maths, sciences, history or geography, and a modern foreign language.
The figure is more than twice the national average.
Mr Southworth said: "This is a remarkable achievement because the English Baccalaureate qualification sets students up to study at the highest level in the sixth form and ultimately at the top universities."
Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College saw 67 per cent of pupils achieve five A*-C grades including English and maths, a rise of two percentage points on last year.
A third of all grades awarded were A* or A.
Headteacher Amanda Compton said: "I am delighted that the girls have achieved these stunning results. It reflects the hard work and effort made by the students and their teachers coupled with the support we receive from our NMBEC parents and carers.
"We could not achieve these outstanding results without this massive combined effort."
Norbury Manor pupil Janaan Jan, left, shows her mum her results
Archbishop Tenison's Church of England High School also celebrated a rise in pupils hitting the top grades, with 72 per cent achieving five A*-C in subjects including English and maths - up from 68 per cent last year.
It also saw a big jump of ten percentage points, to 82 per cent, in pupils achieving five A*-C grades in any subject.
Headteacher Richard Parrish said: "This is a very encouraging set of results for a year group who have worked very hard and contributed well to the school in our 300th year. The consistency of the results is impressive.
He added: "There are some big and significant improvements this year."
Trinity School in Shirley celebrated the highest rate of pupils achieving five A*-C grades including English and maths.
Just five out of 1,381 papers were awarded worse than a C, meaning 99.6 per cent hit the top grades.
Janarth Duraisingham, 16, was among the star performers with ten A*s. He said: "It hasn’t quite sunk in yet but I’m overjoyed."
Trinity pupil Henry Harman phones home to share his results (two A*s, six As and a B) with his family
Independent girls' school Croydon High saw 98.5 per cent of pupils achieve A*-C, an increase on 97.3 per cent last year.
Eight pupils scored A* or A in every subject, with half of those achieving a clean sweep of A*s.
Head Debbie Leonard said, "We are very proud of all the girls who worked so hard to achieve their excellent GCSE results this year.
"There have been some exceptional individual results and we would like to congratulate them all and also acknowledge the part played by their teachers who put so much in to supporting the girls here."
Croydon High School pupil Shakira Mahadeva, who got all A* or A grades, with her proud mum
Selsdon's Quest Academy saw a drop in pupils hitting the top grades, with 56 per cent achieving five A*-C grades including English and Maths, compared to 63 per cent in 2013.
But the school did have success stories, including Year 11 Larry Hammer - a German-born pupil who could not speak English when he arrived but achieved four A* and nine A grades.
Headteacher Andy Crofts said: "I am pleased with our results in many subjects, particularly in English and science.
"I am a little disappointed with our Maths results, which while creditable at 58 per cent A*-C were not as high as we had expected.
"My staff and I will be analysing these results carefully to see how we can improve our performance in this area next year. "
Larry Hammer with Quest Academy headteacher Andy Crofts and fellow pupil Nadiya Mohamud, who got three A* grades and seven As
Oasis Academy Shirley Park celebrated a jump in pupils achieving five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, with 69 per cent hitting the grades compared to 64 per cent last year.
Louise Lee said, head of secondary phase, said: "We are tremendously proud of our GCSE students who have achieved our best ever results and across a wide range of subjects.
"They will now go on to enjoy great success at sixth form. Many have overcome huge personal hurdles to achieve these results but due to their hard work and our dedicated staff, nothing is a barrier to their very bright futures."
Star pupils: Oasis Academy Shirley Park's high-achievers Kwame Obiri-Addai, Gowsikan Kunansingam and Aaliyah Oliver
Coloma Convent Girls' School saw a drop in pupils achieving five A* to C grades, from 95 per cent last year to 91 per cent this summer, although it remains the top performing state school in Croydon.
Eighteen of its pupils achieved six or more A* grades, with standout stars Bevin Anandarajah and Elizabeth Cole scoring 11 A*s each.
Headteacher Maureen Martin said: "The girls have worked incredibly hard supported by wonderful staff, parents, governors and friends.
"Every single student in Year 11 has had the opportunity to excel and the vast majority of them have done so."
Coloma Convent Girls' School pupils after collecting their results
Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior in Upper Norwood saw a fall, from 74 per cent last summer to 62.5 per cent this year, in pupils achieving five A*-C grades including English and maths.
The school's start performer was Katrina Nguyen, who got four A* grades, seven As and a C.
Headteacher Sister Bernadette said: "I am really pleased with the results of all the hard work and effort on the part of both students and teachers. Regardless of ability they have all done their best and I congratulate them."
Virgo Fidelis stars pupils (left to right) Afifa Yamin, Katrina Nguyen, Jasmine Burke, Zaha Waqar
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