Belfast Telegraph

10% of students achieve top A-level

One in 10 students in Northern Ireland has achieved the new top grade at A-level as 12,000 children across the country received their exam results.

Northern Ireland students outperformed their counterparts in England and Wales, with girls doing slightly better than boys. But the high proportion of students passing dipped by a fraction.

This was the first year of the A* grade and it accounted for 9.3% of grades awarded and girls performed better than boys in achieving the new top mark - 9.7% to 8.8%. There was also a 1.2% rise in the number of A grades awarded to students.

Despite a small reduction, the overall pass rate remains high, with 98.1% achieving grades A*-E. This compares to a rate of 98.4% last year;

A total of 35.7% of Northern Ireland students achieved grades A*-A, compared to 34.5% last year. When English and Welsh performance are added to Northern Ireland, the percentage achieving the top grades fell to 27%;

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane and Employment and Learning Minister Sir Reg Empey congratulated students.

They said: "Your results reflect the hard work you have put into your studies over your school years. They also highlight the dedication, help and support of teachers and parents who go above and beyond to encourage young people to achieve their full potential."

Anne Marie Duffy, director of qualifications at the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), said the performance was outstanding.

She added: "That is a tribute to the teaching force expertise and also to the attitudes towards teaching and learning, and the fact that there is a lot more information available in the system to drive performance upwards, and investment to do so."

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