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MLAs praise Northern Ireland students receiving A-Level results

A-Level results: Students in Northern Ireland receive their grades 2017 [photos] Close

Krissy Bell,  Kaite Lynn, Francesca Eldred,  Gina Gilmartin and Emma Connolly at Victoria College in Belfast receive A* and A Grades Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Krissy Bell, Kaite Lynn, Francesca Eldred, Gina Gilmartin and Emma Connolly at Victoria College in Belfast receive A* and A Grades Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A Level Students from St Dominic's Grammar School on the Falls Road in Belfast pictured after receiving their A-levels. Picture By: Pacemaker Press

A Level Students from St Dominic's Grammar School on the Falls Road in Belfast pictured after receiving their A-levels. Picture By: Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Niamh Hanna and Jane McNulty celebrate as they receive A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Niamh Hanna and Jane McNulty celebrate as they receive A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Claire Murphy receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Claire Murphy receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Michael Darling receives A-Level results at Royal Belfast Academical Institution on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Michael Darling receives A-Level results at Royal Belfast Academical Institution on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Megan Wilkinson and Amy Wilkinson receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Megan Wilkinson and Amy Wilkinson receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kaja Olszewska , Kaitlyn Bradshaw, Jenni Cupples and Jasmin Higgins receive A-Level results at Belfast Model School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kaja Olszewska , Kaitlyn Bradshaw, Jenni Cupples and Jasmin Higgins receive A-Level results at Belfast Model School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Christopher McGuinness receives A-Level results at St Malachy's College Belfast on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Christopher McGuinness receives A-Level results at St Malachy's College Belfast on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Anna Arthurs receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Anna Arthurs receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Jane McNulty receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Jane McNulty receives A-Level results at St Dominic's Grammar School for Girls on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Megan McCloskey and Emma McCloskey receives A-Level results at Malone College on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Megan McCloskey and Emma McCloskey receives A-Level results at Malone College on August 17th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A delighted Lisneal College, Derry principal, Mr. Michael Allen with some of his A Level students last year.

A delighted Lisneal College, Derry principal, Mr. Michael Allen with some of his A Level students last year.

AUNTIE’S HERO!. . . .St. Mary’s College, Derry student Janine McSherry gets a hug from her aunt and St. Mary’s senior teacher, Catriona Kealey yesterday morning.

AUNTIE’S HERO!. . . .St. Mary’s College, Derry student Janine McSherry gets a hug from her aunt and St. Mary’s senior teacher, Catriona Kealey yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Gabrielius Dobrovolskis is congratulated on his A Level results by Senior Teacher Mr. Gerard Doherty at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Gabrielius Dobrovolskis is congratulated on his A Level results by Senior Teacher Mr. Gerard Doherty at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry students Nathan Doherty, Conal Kelly and Jack Gillespie pictured after receiving their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry students Nathan Doherty, Conal Kelly and Jack Gillespie pictured after receiving their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Mary’s College, Derry students celebrate their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Mary’s College, Derry students celebrate their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Mary’s College, Derry students Jane McGowan and her mum Catherine and Jayne McSherry and her mum Seana check their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Mary’s College, Derry students Jane McGowan and her mum Catherine and Jayne McSherry and her mum Seana check their A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

Lisneal College, Derry student Richie Laird.

Lisneal College, Derry student Richie Laird.

Ms. Marguerite Hamilton, Principal, Thornhill College, Derry pictured with the school’s top A Level students and their teachers at the school yesterday morning after the student received their results.

Ms. Marguerite Hamilton, Principal, Thornhill College, Derry pictured with the school’s top A Level students and their teachers at the school yesterday morning after the student received their results.

Lisneal College, Derry student Hannah Working.

Lisneal College, Derry student Hannah Working.

A delighted St. Mary’s College, Derry student Lauren Young shows her mum Annette her A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

A delighted St. Mary’s College, Derry student Lauren Young shows her mum Annette her A Level results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Columb’s College, Derry student Jack McKeever.

St. Columb’s College, Derry student Jack McKeever.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry only female student Chloe McFadden pictured with fellow student Dian Nash at the school yesterday after receiving their results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry only female student Chloe McFadden pictured with fellow student Dian Nash at the school yesterday after receiving their results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Darren O’Hagan.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Darren O’Hagan.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Harry Curran is congratulated by Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry student Harry Curran is congratulated by Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin pictured with A Level students Jake Allen Darragh Stillman and Shaunie McLaughlin after receiving their results at the school yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin pictured with A Level students Jake Allen Darragh Stillman and Shaunie McLaughlin after receiving their results at the school yesterday morning.

CHECKING RESULTS. . . .St Mary’s College, Derry students Mairead Ward, Chloe Boyle, Oliwia Marcinkowska, Niamh Dunlop and Emma Doherty discuss their results yesterday morning.

CHECKING RESULTS. . . .St Mary’s College, Derry students Mairead Ward, Chloe Boyle, Oliwia Marcinkowska, Niamh Dunlop and Emma Doherty discuss their results yesterday morning.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry A-Level students pictured with Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin yesterday morning after receiving their A Level results.

St. Joseph’s Boys School, Derry A-Level students pictured with Principal, Mr. Damian Harkin yesterday morning after receiving their A Level results.

Mrs. Marguerite Hamilton, Principal, Thornhill College, Derry pictured with Blessy Biji and Emer Mulholland who both got 3A*s in this year’s results.

Mrs. Marguerite Hamilton, Principal, Thornhill College, Derry pictured with Blessy Biji and Emer Mulholland who both got 3A*s in this year’s results.

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017
Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results.
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017 Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Pacemaker Press 17/8/2017
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/8/2017 Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017
Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results.
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017 Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Pacemaker Press 17/8/2017
Top achievers at Victoria College in Belfast receive A* and A Grades,  As the level Results on Thursday, The proportion of top A-level grades achieved by Northern Ireland students has risen significantly.
More than 30,000 students received their A-level and AS-level results on Thursday and the overall A*-E pass rate was 98.3%.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/8/2017 Top achievers at Victoria College in Belfast receive A* and A Grades, As the level Results on Thursday, The proportion of top A-level grades achieved by Northern Ireland students has risen significantly. More than 30,000 students received their A-level and AS-level results on Thursday and the overall A*-E pass rate was 98.3%. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

PACEMAKER BELFAST   17/08/2017
A Level Results 2017

PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/08/2017 A Level Results 2017

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017
Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results.
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th August 2017 Pupils at Victoria College in South Belfast revive their A Level results. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Rachel Andrew, Beth Gault, Patrick Gault and Katie Herron.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Rachel Andrew, Beth Gault, Patrick Gault and Katie Herron.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Rachel McKeeg 2A' B with Andrew Rogers A* and  2A's

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Rachel McKeeg 2A' B with Andrew Rogers A* and 2A's

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Rachel Keer A* and 2B's and is hoping for a place in UUJ to study sports.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Rachel Keer A* and 2B's and is hoping for a place in UUJ to study sports.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Erin Boyd A* A B and Amy Caldwell 2A's B

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Erin Boyd A* A B and Amy Caldwell 2A's B

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Sarah Stewart, Cameron Keys, Peter Gordon and Sarah Bridle great results and looking forward for more study.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Sarah Stewart, Cameron Keys, Peter Gordon and Sarah Bridle great results and looking forward for more study.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
Nadine Gault 3A's and Harry Mathers 2A's and 2B's

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © Nadine Gault 3A's and Harry Mathers 2A's and 2B's

Friends (from left) Anna Murray, Chloe Roberts, Caitlin Lawlor, and Aine Kerr, after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Friends (from left) Anna Murray, Chloe Roberts, Caitlin Lawlor, and Aine Kerr, after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Tiarnan Curran-Feeney who got 3 A* and an A with Anna Murray who got 4 A* after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast.  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tiarnan Curran-Feeney who got 3 A* and an A with Anna Murray who got 4 A* after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down.  Pictured are A-s students Ellie Large,Rebekah Dougan and Lauren Ferguson with Olivia Knox. Picture Mark Marlow

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down. Pictured are A-s students Ellie Large,Rebekah Dougan and Lauren Ferguson with Olivia Knox. Picture Mark Marlow

Emer Maguire who got 3 A* celebrates with her mother Ciara Maguire after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Emer Maguire who got 3 A* celebrates with her mother Ciara Maguire after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Doireann Sheridan after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 17, 2017. See PA story EDUCATION Alevels Ulster. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Doireann Sheridan after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 17, 2017. See PA story EDUCATION Alevels Ulster. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Orla Kearney with her mother Moya Kearney after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 17, 2017. See PA story EDUCATION Alevels Ulster. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Orla Kearney with her mother Moya Kearney after collecting her A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 17, 2017. See PA story EDUCATION Alevels Ulster. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Imogen Forbes who received four A's and a B in As level pictured with principal Dr Michelle Rainey at Ballyclare High School. Pic by Peter Morrison

Imogen Forbes who received four A's and a B in As level pictured with principal Dr Michelle Rainey at Ballyclare High School. Pic by Peter Morrison

Rory Dorman and Anna Crowe from Ballyclare High, who received four A's in  A.S level. Pic by Peter Morrison

Rory Dorman and Anna Crowe from Ballyclare High, who received four A's in A.S level. Pic by Peter Morrison

Some of the top achievers at Ballyclare High School in A2, from left, Aaron Coleman, Katie Young, Sophie Patterson, Sian Reed, Christian Montgomery and Charolette Loughhead. Pic by Peter Morrison

Some of the top achievers at Ballyclare High School in A2, from left, Aaron Coleman, Katie Young, Sophie Patterson, Sian Reed, Christian Montgomery and Charolette Loughhead. Pic by Peter Morrison

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down. Pictured are A2 students Matthew Young,Megan Ringland and Angus Corbett.  Picture Mark Marlow

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down. Pictured are A2 students Matthew Young,Megan Ringland and Angus Corbett. Picture Mark Marlow

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down. Pictured are Chartlotte Hawthorne 3 A* in Chemistry, Biology and Maths Charlotte McCrum 3 A* Biology, Chemistry and Maths and Sarah Thompson A. A. C.  Biology, Geography and Religious Education. Picture Mark Marlow

A Level results at Banbridge Academy in Co Down. Pictured are Chartlotte Hawthorne 3 A* in Chemistry, Biology and Maths Charlotte McCrum 3 A* Biology, Chemistry and Maths and Sarah Thompson A. A. C. Biology, Geography and Religious Education. Picture Mark Marlow

Emer Maguire who got 3 A* and Rory Cullen who got 2 A's and a B after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast.  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Emer Maguire who got 3 A* and Rory Cullen who got 2 A's and a B after collecting their A-level results at Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Krissy Bell, Kaite Lynn, Francesca Eldred, Gina Gilmartin and Emma Connolly at Victoria College in Belfast receive A* and A Grades Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Northern Ireland's politicians have praised the thousands of students who received their A-Level results on Thursday.

Results have shown the proportion of top A-level grades achieved by Northern Ireland students has risen significantly.

Figures have showed 30.4% of pupils received grades A* or A, an increase of 0.9% percentage points on the previous year.

The gap between girls and boys has also widened as, for the first time, the latter's results slumped when compared across all grades.

Former Education Minister Peter Weir, DUP MLA for Strangford has praised students across Northern Ireland on their A and AS Level results.

He said: "I welcome the announcement of the results of this year's A and AS level results and particularly the achievements of our local students in Northern Ireland. Yet again Northern Irish students and schools are the flagship of success for the rest of the United Kingdom, outperforming their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.

"The gap in results is startling with 30.4% of entries in Northern Ireland achieving A* or A grades, compared to 26.3% across the UK as a whole."

He added: "This has not happened by accident, and I commend the hard work and dedication of local students, teachers and supportive parents, without whom would have not been possible.

"I wish all our A and AS Level pupils well for the future, no matter what pathway they take, and for those who didn't get the result they wanted, I urge them not to panic but to take advantage of the help from careers service to plot the best way forward. Above all though, I congratulate our pupils and they should enjoy today celebrating the fruits of their labour."

SDLP education spokesperson, Colin McGrath MLA has also been congratulating local students on another "bumper" year for A-Level results.

Mr McGrath, a former youth worker, also urged those who haven't received the grades they had hoped for to make full use of the advice services on offer. He said: "It looks like it has been another bumper year for Northern Ireland's best and brightest students. Our high flyers continue to perform at the highest levels and that's something we should rightly be proud of.

"But for many students who've worked incredibly hard over the last number of years, today's news will have been a disappointment. It's important that anyone who finds themselves in that position make full use of advice services on offer from UCAS and their schools."

McGrath continued: "There are pathways open, your hard work hasn't counted for nothing because your plan has been changed. Exam results don't define us as people, there will be amazing opportunities ahead, regardless of the letters on that page.

"As another set of students prepares for university, college or the world of work, it's important that we provide the best opportunities for them to live, work and make a home here. That demands a functioning government as soon as possible."

Ulster Unionist education spokesperson, Rosemary Barton MLA, congratulated pupils receiving results but emphasised that not enough is being done to tackle chronic issues in our education system.

Mrs Barton stated: "For another year pupils have been outperforming their counterparts in England and Wales in their A-levels and I offer my sincerest congratulations to everyone receiving their results today.

"Whatever the results, students should take time to asses their future options carefully. Take time to research what is best for you, whether looking for employment opportunities now, re-sitting some subjects or going on to Further or Higher Education."

The MLA added: "We cannot continue to watch this gap widen year on year and not take any action. Unfortunately, without a Minister in place it will be very difficult to tackle the issue. In some cases, teachers can only do so much.

"These excellent results have been achieved in spite of a very challenging budgetary situation facing schools at the moment, and everyone - students, teachers and of course parents – should be applauded for their efforts."

Belfast Telegraph