The waiting was finally over for hundreds of local school students this morning (Thursday) when they received their GCSE results.
There were plenty of smiles - and quite a few looks of relief - on show among students, staff and parents at Banovallum School, Gartree Community School and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.
Celebrations were soon in full swing as teenagers congratulated each other - and reached for mobile phones to contact anxious mums and dads.
At Banovallum, headteacher Nicki Shore reported another year of improved results.
She said: “There are some remarkable successes and we are very proud of all our students - and pleased that the hard work has paid off.
“Sixty per cent of our students achieved 5A* to C and that has to be remembered in our selective context.
“It is true to say that the changes that have taken place in the last two years with the examination system have made it tougher to achieve and students and staff are under increasing pressure to perform.
“That is why we are so proud of all our achievements.
“Every student in Year 11 has achieved five or more GCSEs and each one of them has something to celebrate.”
At Gartree, it was the last-ever GCSE results as the Tattershall based school faces an exciting future as the Barnes Wallis Academy.
Headteacher Paul Macleod commented on what had been a “difficult last 18 months” but congratulated pupils for what he termed their outstanding efforts.
He said: “I want to say congratulations and well done to our students who worked so hard over the year.
“It was wonderful to see students benefiting from an increasingly broad range of opportunities though our partnerships.
“There is no hiding away from the fact that the last 18 months have been some of the most difficult in the school’s history.
“With the prosect at one stage of closing our doors for good, we lost a number of very talented staff and pupils.
“Our results are not what we would hope but I have every confidence that we will be in a very different position next summer.”
At QEGS, the celebrations started within seconds of the first pupils ripping open the all-important envelopes containing their results.
Students Amy Martin and Melissa Hanson said they were delighted with the results and will continue their education in the school’s highly regarded sixth form.
Amy summed up the exciting atmosphere when she said: “I’m really pleased with my results and most of my friends have done really well.
“It has been a bit nerve-racking over the last few weeks and I think everyone is glad the waiting is over.
“It’s a brilliant school - the teachers, everything. We’re all looking forward to the sixth form.”
Nationally, figures showed a slight improvement across all GCSE subjects although there was a sharp fall in English grades.
Exam officials revealed that 68.8 per cent of entries scored A*-C - up 0.7 percent on last summer.