The Institute for Learning (IfL) has congratulated GCSE entrants who studied in the workplace and at further education colleges.
While the media focus is on the 658,000 16-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who got their results today, a further 547,000 candidates also took their GCSEs.
They studied at further education and sixth-form colleges, adult and community learning providers and as part of their apprenticeships.
IfL’s chief executive, Toni Fazaeli, said, “Thousands of young and adult learners will be celebrating the results of two years of hard work, and we offer our congratulations to them and to the dedicated teachers who helped them achieve success.
"Many of today’s celebrants have studied GCSEs in the further education and skills sector, rather than in schools, and I hope that they and others making decisions about the next steps in their lifelong journey of learning for work and well-being – including those who at this stage did not get the results they hoped for – will consider the real merits of continuing to study and train in the further education and skills sector."
Ms Fazaeli said that one in eight higher education students are doing their courses in further education settings.
She added: "Further education also offers a diverse range of high-quality vocational qualifications, including apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships, preparing the next generation of engineers, technicians, accountants, welders, designers, chefs, carpenters and hairdressers.
"I hope that many students receiving their GCSE results today will see the light about high-quality teaching and learning in further education as a gateway to employment or to fulfilling entrepreneurial aspirations.”