HEADTEACHERS in Braintree were among many in the country who opted not to publish GCSE results because of the uncertainty over the grading system.

Both Notley High and Alec Hunter Academy praised their students for their hard work throughout the academic year, which was curtailed by the coronavirus lockdown.

But the schools agreed not to publish their overall GCSE results because they said they would have "no validity" compared to previous years.

They also said the uncertainty over the grading system had "not helped" many students who were already anxious and uncertain about their futures.

Notley High's executive headteacher Rob James said: "This has been a very uncertain time for students, many of whom were disappointed at losing out on the opportunity to prove themselves in the exam hall, and who have endured several months of waiting to find out what grades they would have been awarded.

"However, at last, students at Notley High School are celebrating the end of Year 11 with successes that will allow them to progress to their chosen college or apprenticeship courses.

"We wish them all best wishes and good luck for their future.”

The Government had scrapped its grading system just days before GCSE results were announced after being heavily criticised for the impact it had on A-level results the week before.

Nearly 40 per cent of students saw their grades lowered from what their teachers had suggested as predicted grades.

For GCSE results, it was agreed pupils would be awarded their centre assessed grades, which will be formally confirmed by exam boards next week.

Top performers at Notley High included Alfie Brinkley, Rhiannon Scudder, Amelia Parkes and Wallace Degamo.

Head of School, Dr Cusick, said: “We are proud of the way the students have responded to these challenging circumstances. We are delighted to celebrate the achievements of so many students, many of whom have exceeded their target grades.”

Top performers at Alec Hunter meanwhile included Sarah Challis, William Marriott, Amy Jarvis, Kacper Jednaszewski, Elliott Griffiths, Melody Morris, Alex Pope and Diya Singadia.

Headteacher Trevor Lawn said: "After all the uncertainty and eleventh-hour changes in policy over the past week or so, it is pleasing to see our young people celebrating their thoroughly deserved personal successes.

"With so much unavoidable disruption to their final year experience, we are delighted that common sense has prevailed at this late stage in the rejection of a statistically driven process which would not have done justice to the individual efforts of students.

"We feel that the outcomes awarded are more representative of their five years of working in partnership with our dedicated staff, and we wish all our students well as they embark on the next phase of their lives."

School bosses in Witham meanwhile said they were ‘delighted’ with this year’s GCSE results.

Large numbers of students at New Rickstones and Maltings academies were celebrating after securing the grades they were hoping for on results day.

Their grades were based on recommendations from their teachers after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all summers exams.

At New Rickstones, Ben Wallis, Emily Arnold, Emma Brock and Fiona Cook all excelled in their GCSEs and achieved top grades in a number of subjects.

Headteacher Damien Lee paid tribute to all his pupils for succeeding in difficult circumstances.

He added: “I am so proud of the incredible effort they have put in during their time at New Rickstones Academy.

“Even though our students were not able to take their final exams, their results today show the hard work they have put in during their time at school and are a fair reflection of the commitment they show every day. Their hard work in the run-up to lockdown has not been for nothing.

“These are a fantastic set of results. In a time of incredible challenge, our students should be very pleased with how well they have done.”

Top achievers at Maltings Academy included Hayden Cooper who achieved the highest grade in eight subjects.

Ella Reidy, Caitlin Skinner and Ryan Wuyts also earned top marks in at least four subjects.

Head of academy James Forbes said: “I am extremely proud of the students at Maltings Academy who worked so hard in their studies, but were unable to take their final exams. The results they have received today are a fair reflection of their commitment and hard work.

“In what has been an incredibly challenging time for us all, it is extremely pleasing to be able to celebrate their success today. My thanks go out to the parents within the Maltings community for their continued support and I congratulate both the students and staff for their achievements.”