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A-Levels: long wait is over for students

By Kathryn Torney

Months of waiting will end today when students across Northern Ireland receive their A-Level results.

Last year, a record number of students scored top grades in their A-Levels and the Northern Ireland pass rate increased for the 25th year in a row.

The percentage of students gaining an A grade rose by just under 1% to 33.2% and once again, Northern Ireland students outperformed their counterparts in England and Wales.

It is understood that similar trends are likely for this year’s results.

Pip Jaffa, chief executive of Parents Advice Centre, advised parents to give their children support if they have not achieved the grades they hoped for.

She said: “For those who get the results they want it is plain sailing. However, for those who are disappointed it can be extremely difficult to cope with and can be even more upsetting for parents to see their child upset.

“The most important thing is not to turn the situation into a catastrophe. Your son or daughter will need emotional comfort and support — but also practical help and advice.

“You will need to sit down with them and look at the situation before deciding on the next steps,” Ms Jaffa added.

The Parents Advice Centre can be contacted on freephone 0808 8010 722, or via email at, or you can log on to their website at

PAC has offices situated in Belfast, Londonderry, Dungannon and Ballymena.

Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph will publish its annual UCAS supplement next Tuesday, which includes information on higher education course vacancies in universities and colleges across the UK.

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