A-levels still relevant, school principal insists
A-levels still have a big influence on young people's futures, a school principal in Northern Ireland has insisted.
Robert Robinson, headmaster at Campbell College boys school in east Belfast, said they were celebrating their best collective achievement in years.
Ministers and employers have encouraged apprenticeships and other vocational education to help match skills to the workplace and complement other pathways, but Mr Robinson said A-levels were still relevant.
He added: "They do not define your route ahead but they are a very big influence.
"They provide that gateway to higher education or employment and an A-level provides a depth to a subject that a student is going to pursue.
"They are still important."
He said it took hard work and determination for a student to reach his full potential.
"In addition, we want to extend congratulations to the parents and guardians who work in partnership with the school to encourage and support the boys - inspiring them to be the very best they can be.
"It is fantastic to be celebrating individual successes but also to be recognising the collective achievement of our best results in years."
Sally McGahan, principal at Dominican College girls school in North Belfast, said she was thrilled with the "exceptional" results.
She said: "I am delighted with the performance of our very talented year 14 group of pupils and their examination results across a very broad spectrum of subjects.
"Amongst some of the college's high achievers were our head girl Julie Toal who attained an outstanding four A* grades, and our deputy head girl Maebh Millar, who achieved three A* grades as well as one grade A.
"These exceptional results, and those of all our pupils, are the outcome of a real team effort."