Shaun Fenton, HMC Chair Elect and Headmaster of Reigate Grammar School said:
“GCSE students waiting for their results are bound to concerned about grades. However, it’s important that too much focus isn’t put on achieving Grade 9s.
“The top grade has been designed to be scarce, rewarding exceptional performance, and there will be fewer Grade 9s than the old A*. For this reason some of the most competitive university courses are not making GCSE grade 9 an entry requirement.
“It’s important that we focus on students rather than statistics; anyone who has worked hard and doesn’t get a 9 should celebrate and not be hard on themselves. The most important thing about GCSEs is their educational value and preparation for A Level.
“Having said that, those who do open their results this summer and see a Grade 9 should be particularly proud.”