THERE was plenty to celebrate at schools across the borough with another year of great GCSE results.

Last Thursday pupils were left jumping for joy as they found out they have secured their places at colleges and sixth forms, or kick started their careers.

Borough-wide progress was made in performance in key subjects and Bury education bosses have set their sights on even greater success in the future.

Councillor Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for children and families, said: “Students across Bury are to be congratulated on their GCSE results, against a backdrop of changes to the curriculum and the way in which GCSEs are assessed and graded.

“In key areas such as achieving English and Maths together, our performance has consistently matched other local authorities across the region, and we are particularly pleased with our performance in English.

“A much higher proportion of Bury students than nationally are now entering English Baccalaureate subjects such as mathematics, English, foreign languages, science and humanities, and students are showing a strong performance in those subjects.

“I’d also like to thank our teachers and school staff whose work and dedication ensures that young people in Bury are well prepared for whatever course in life they choose to take. We will continue to offer Bury schools our support in achieving even higher exam results in the coming years.

“Also, my congratulations go to all Bury students who celebrated their A-level results last week. Their hard work really paid off, with excellent results for both our colleges and Bury’s independent sixth form schools: for example, students at Bury College achieved their best ever results and Holy Cross has doubled its Oxbridge intake, which is fantastic news.

“Ensuring that our young people have access to top quality education and skills is a top priority for the council, and we will continue to support Bury’s colleges in whatever way we can so that Bury students can continue to achieve and fully realise their potential. We will continue to strive to ensure that aspiration and ambition is at the heart of improving educational standards in Bury across our schools and colleges.”

Thousands of youngsters across the borough received their results last week after sitting the Government’s tough new GCSE courses following the biggest exams shake-up for a generation.

For the first time, this year the majority of subjects were awarded under the new-style numbered grades which replaced the traditional lettered marks.

So rather rather than hoping for A* to C pupils had everything crossed they had got 9s to 4s.

Nationally, around one in five GCSE entries scored one of the three top grades this year, but just a tiny fraction of teenagers walked away with a clean sweep of 9s.

Full analysis of the previous academic year’s GCSE results and data is expected to be published in the New Year.

Last year, one in five UK entries picked up at least a 7 or an A grade, roughly in line with previous years.

Figures published by exams regulator Ofqual showed that just 732 16-year-olds in England taking at least seven new GCSEs scored straight 9s - the highest grade available under the new system - in all subjects.

This is just a tiny fraction of the more than half a million teenagers in England who take GCSEs.

While many youngsters were left jumping for joy on Thursday, for others their grades might not have been what they were hoping.

But there is no need to despair ­— it is not the end of the world by any means. And the Oxford Open Learning Trust is seeking to remind pupils and parents that there are a number of options available.

Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of the OOL, said: “The first step should be to get in touch with the course representative at the sixth form or college they applied for. They may still have spaces available on the course, or be able to suggest different subjects that do. Alternatively, it might be worth considering less traditional pathways, such as apprenticeships, work experience or a gap year. Such options do not mean that students have to simply leave education behind, as they can still resit GCSEs while working.

“Distance learning is the most flexible way of doing this as your course materials are available online.”