Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Multi A grade A-levels decrease

The proportion of pupils getting three or more A grades in their A-levels has dropped, official figures show
The proportion of pupils getting three or more A grades in their A-levels has dropped, official figures show

The proportion of teenagers scoring three or more A grades in their A-levels dropped slightly this year, while the numbers achieving at least two passes also fell, official figures showed.

One in eight (12.4%) 16-18-year-olds was awarded at least three A* or A grades in this summer's exams, down marginally from 12.7% last year.

In total, 93.6% of candidates attained two or more A-level passes - this is down from 95.1%, the year before, figures published by the Department for Education show.

Meanwhile, figures showed that more than half of teenagers gained five good GCSEs this summer, but concerns were raised that many are still leaving school without decent qualifications.

Some 53.1% of pupils scored five GCSEs at grade C or higher, including English and maths, a 3.3% increase on last year, according to statistics published by the Department for Education. But this still means that around 300,000 youngsters are leaving compulsory education without good grades.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said he was concerned that high numbers of pupils were finishing school without a broad range of GCSEs.

For the first time international GCSEs (IGCSES), which are favoured by private schools who say they are a tougher qualification, have been included in the results. Earlier this year Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that in future, state secondaries will be allowed to teach IGCSEs, reversing a decision made by the previous government.

When IGCSEs are excluded, Thursday's figures show that 53% of pupils scored five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and maths. Almost three in four (74.8%) pupils achieved five C grades without English and maths, excluding IGCSEs this figure was 74.7%. And nearly nine in 10 (88.4%) of teenagers achieved five passes (A*-G), including English and maths. This is the same with or without IGCSEs.

The statistics show that state schools outperformed private schools.

Some 54.8% of state school pupils achieved five C grades, including English and maths, compared to 47.2% at private schools.

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