Teenagers have scored record GCSE results again, with nearly seven in 10 entries awarded at least a C grade.
The rises came despite the number of entries dipping again this year - there were more than 5.37 million entries, compared with 5.47 million in 2009.
Overall, 69.1 per cent of all GCSE entries were awarded at least a C grade, up two percentage points on 2009. More than one in five (22.6 per cent) entries achieved an A* or an A, up one percentage point on last year.
But while the pass rate rose for the 23rd year in a row, there was another slump in the numbers of pupils taking French and German. The numbers of pupils taking GCSEs in the three separate sciences has risen, although the proportion being awarded top grades has fallen, according to figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
After a drop in the number on English entries being awarded a C last year, the pass rate has risen this summer. Almost two-thirds (64.7 per cent) of English entries gained at least a C grade, up from 62.7 per cent in 2009. In maths, 58.4 per cent of entries achieved a C, up from 57.2 per cent last summer.
For the second year in a row, boys out performed girls in maths, with 58.6 per cent of boys' entries scoring at least a C compared with 58.3 per cent of girls'. Overall though, girls are still doing better than boys. More than seven in 10 (72.6 per cent) of girls' GCSE entries gained at least a C compared with 65.4 per cent of boys.
JCQ director Dr Jim Sinclair said: "Students and their teachers can be proud of their achievements.
"The increased entries in biology, chemistry and physics, coupled with improved performance in English and mathematics, is very good news indeed."