AS hopeful students collected their GCSE results yesterday, regionally the North-East saw a decrease in both pass rates and top grades, setting the area further behind than other in the UK.

Yesterday’s results saw the third wave of the new GCSEs awarded, with the large majority of subjects now reformed.

In the North-East, a total of 63.8 per cent GCSE grades were grades 4 to 9 while in areas such as London saw 70.6 per cent.

Schools North East Director of Operation, Chris Zarraga, said: “Congratulations to our students across the region. While we celebrate the achievements of many students, it is evident that today’s results show a continuing challenge for the North-East since the reformed GCSEs were introduced.”

However, the overall results did not stop students from jumping for joy when they opened their own results envelopes.

Longfield Academy, in Darlington, celebrated the school’s best GCSE results for years.

Nick Lindsay, headteacher, said: “I am delighted to see so many of our hard-working students achieving excellent results which will provide them with a solid foundation for future success as they embark on their exciting journey into adulthood.”

Staff and pupils at Beaumont Hill Academy, part of The Education Village Academy Trust, Darlington, enjoyed a year of success with all of its Year 11 pupils receiving an accreditation across a wide range of subjects with pupils Liam Austin and Bethany Fenby achieving a wide range of accreditations.

At Hummersknott Academy, principal James Keating has declared himself to be “delighted for the students” with another solid set of GCSE results at the Darlington school.

Mr Keating said: “The vast majority of our students have achieved the grades required for their post-16 choices, including a good number of grade 9s.

“This is another strong performance and testament to the hard work from the students and staff, as well as the support from their parents.”

While Carmel College celebrated an outstanding year of results overall with students securing over 80 grade 9s.

At Haughton Academy, pupil Chloe Ireland gained an impressive set of GCSEs despite missing six months of school to have open heart surgery.

The student achieved one grade 9, two grade 8s, three grade 7s, a distinction star, plus a host of other high GCSE grades, making her one of the school’s top achievers.

Chloe, 16, was treated for congenitally corrected transposition.

The rare condition, in which the heart’s lower half is reversed, saw Chloe undergo a complex Fontan Operation at The Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, to help improve her oxygen levels by redirecting blood directly to her lungs.

She will go on to study law, psychology and economics at A-level with a view to pursuing a career in law.