Ulster Unionist education spokesperson Danny Kinahan has congratulated Northern Ireland’s pupils on attaining “record GCSE results”.
He also “commiserated with those whose results were not perhaps as good as they would have liked”.
“The academic road is not for everyone and I would encourage young people to continue to develop their skills and increase their employability by exploring the possibilities for further education or apprenticeships,” he said.
He added: “At the top level, Northern Ireland pupils continue to excel in GCSE results.
“We produce more A* results, 8.9 per cent compared to the average UK results of 6.7 per cent which include England and Wales.
“Overall 99.2 per cent of pupils in Northern Ireland achieve the pass rate (A* to G) compared to the 98.5 per cent UK average, and crucially we outperform the nationwide average of 68.8 per cent attaining A* to C by 9.2 per cent (78 per cent).
“We are performing well in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which is very encouraging.”