GCSE grades A and A* have fallen slightly this years, while grades A* to C have edged upwards.
Hundreds of thousands of school pupils across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are receiving the results of their summer exams, which overall have remained broadly stable from last year.
The proportion of A* grades fell by 0.1 percent from last yeae, but those ranging between A* and C rose 0.2 percent to 69%.
General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)Brian Lightman noted that there was “very little change in this year’s results” at the national level, but explained to the Telegraph that the current focus on academic subjects is “too narrow” and will “restrict the time available for creative and technical disciplines”
“There is undoubtedly a great value in ensuring that young people have a thorough understanding of important subjects.
“However, it is only one part of an excellent education, and there is a danger that devoting so much of the curriculum to these subjects will restrict the time available for creative and technical subjects, which may better suit the interests and talents of many young people, as well as detracting from other skills it is important to learn.”
Meanwhile, the government heralded a “surge in pupils taking valuable STEM subjects” including maths, science and engineering, which Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said made young people were “properly trained to compete in a global economy”.