Belfast Telegraph

Farry and O'Dowd congratulate A and AS level students

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Employment and Learning

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Education Minister John O’Dowd have congratulated students who have received their A and AS level results.

Visiting Hazelwood Integrated College in Newtownabbey, the Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “It is heartening to see so many of our young people achieving the grades they need for their chosen pathways and they deserve our congratulations.

“Sometimes results can mean a change of plan, and we want to let students know that there are still many possibilities and choices available, whether you have done better than expected or not as well as you had hoped. My primary advice to anyone in this situation is to remember that help is at hand. My Department’s Careers Service has a team of professionally qualified careers advisers offering impartial careers guidance to young people and adults. You can call 0300 200 7820 or log on to the www.nidirect.gov.uk/results to access a wealth of useful information and locate your nearest Careers Office.”

The key headlines from this year’s results are as follows:

· 83.5% of entries at A-level here achieved grades A*- C;
· At the top grades, A* - A was awarded to 30.7% of entrants;
· 2013 is the fourth year of the new A* grade and the statistics show that 7.2% of grades awarded were A*; and
· The overall pass rate has remained unchanged, with 98.2% of grades awarded at A* - E this year.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “Today marks the culmination of many years of hard work by the young people who have received their A-Level results. The level of attainment of pupils in our schools is testament to the work and commitment of parents, teachers and above all the pupils themselves.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who received results today on their achievements.

“Many will have decided on their next steps, whether it be to Further or Higher Education, training or the world of work. Others, however, will face decisions on the way ahead following their results, and I would re-assure them that a world of opportunities remain open for them and encourage them to seek advice before making decisions on the next steps.

“Whatever the future holds, I would like to wish all the young people affected the best of luck as they decide on the next step.”

The Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry concluded: “A number of you will be going onto university, but for some there are other routes to achieving your future goals. I would encourage young people to investigate all options open to them. Our Further Education colleges offer a wide variety of foundation degrees and vocational qualifications and further study may prove beneficial, especially in the current economic times. Apprenticeships are another way to develop specialist skills, giving you the chance to earn while you learn and gain qualifications that are recognised worldwide. Taking time now to explore options will pay dividends in the future.”

For those with queries on any issues relating to their exam results eg. appeals, remarks, re-sits, contact your exam centre or the CCEA helpline on 028 9026 1260 or email helpline@ccea.org.uk. For those who are still undecided about what to do next, information, advice and guidance is available from the Careers Service at 0300 200 7820 or at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/results. Information on university options is also available from the Aimhigher website at http://www.aimhigher.ac.uk or the UCAS website http://www.ucas.ac.uk. Another source of useful information on university options can be found at http://unistats.direct.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

1. All available statistics are provisional and are subject to appeals, re-marks and, in the case of AS Levels, the cashing-in of awards.

2. Figures cover all candidates, irrespective of the examining body for the examinations.

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