Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Students Secure Highest A-Level Pass Rate; ONLY REGION TO SEE MORE TOP SCORES THAN LAST YEAR

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Students Secure Highest A-Level Pass Rate; ONLY REGION TO SEE MORE TOP SCORES THAN LAST YEAR

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH GRAHAM Reporter hannah.graham@reachplc.com @HannahGraham21

Students celebrate at Churchill Community College NORTH East students have secured the country's highest A-level pass rate, while bucking a national trend for falling top scores.

As emotional teenagers collected their scores on Thursday, the region's A*-E pass rate rose on last year to 98.3%.

By contrast, across England, the pass rate fell slightly, down 0.1% to 97.5%.

And although the region still holds one of the lowest rates of top A and A* grades in the country, it was the only region which saw a rise in the percentage of students getting the very best scores, up 0.3% to 23%. But London maintained its position as England's top-scoring region, with 26.9% of A-levels in the city scoring As or A*s. Kieran McGrane, head of Ponteland High School and a trustee for Schools North East, a network connecting the region's schools, said the region had much to celebrate, though he called on Government to increase funding to North East schools to ensure all sixth forms and colleges were able to offer a full range of A-level options.

"I think North East schools have taken a bit of a beating for a number of years," he said.

"So it's incredible to see so many students here doing well and bucking the national trend. It's especially great to see that pass rate, which shows students who are staying in school post-16 are getting their qualifications."

Students in North Tyneside recorded the borough's best ever scores, with average point scores rising slightly to 34.4 compared to 34.2 in 2019 (equivalent to a C grade). Gateshead, South Tyneside and Newcastle councils were unable to provide a detailed analysis of results in their area, but Newcastle councillors said the picture "looked positive" compared to last year.

Amid the positive regional picture were successes for individual 18-year-olds, who walked away from results day delighted with their scores. …

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