HEADTEACHERS spoke out in defence of teacher assessments after students across Trafford received their GCSE results today.

Nationwide, record numbers of students received the top grades, with around 30 per cent of all entries earning a grade 7 or above.

This is up from around 20 per cent of all entries earning a grade 7 or above two years ago - the last time there were examinations.

Instead of examinations, the grades were determined via teacher assessments, which were themselves determined via a variety of in-class tests, coursework and other work.

But Stuart Beeley, the headteacher of Wellington School in Timperley, said it takes nothing away from the students' achievements.

Messenger Newspapers:

He said: "From the pupils' point of view, these results are every bit as meaningful as usual."

Mr Beeley praised students and staff alike for their attitude and hard work in the pandemic.

"They've worked their socks off at a highly unusual and a highly uncertain time," he said.

There was a similar message from Lee McConaghie, the headteacher of Ashton on Mersey School, and Kim Earle, the headteacher of Altrincham College.

Mr McConaghie said: "It has been a challenging time for everyone, especially this cohort.

Messenger Newspapers:

"We're delighted that they've achieved a set of results that reflect their potential.

"We congratulate each and every pupil. The school is rightly proud of their achievements."

And Ms Earle said: "Two years of stopping and starting classroom provision, providing remote learning and still maintaining a sense of community have given us unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic.

"What never ceases to amaze me is the resilience and determination of our young people to do the best they can despite everything that is thrown at them.

"Our Year 11s have achieved the grades they've worked so hard for and thoroughly deserve."

READ MORE: Trafford teachers defend students' grades on A-level results day.

Aside from the debate over teacher assessments, the students themselves seemed unconcerned by their results day with a difference.

After a nervous wait until 9am, there were scenes of jubilation at Wellington School, where some 265 students came to collect their results over the course of the morning.

Eoghan Quinlan, one of the students, said: "I've been panicking about this for two months.

"It was all or nothing, but I got the all."

On the school's staff and the other students, he said: "They've been a credit to themselves."