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Eilis O'Hanlon

A-Level results: In an extraordinary year, nothing has gone right. Why should this?

Eilis O'Hanlon


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Pupils at St Dominics Grammar in west Belfast turn up for their results

Pupils at St Dominics Grammar in west Belfast turn up for their results

Pupils at St Dominics Grammar in west Belfast turn up for their results

The release of the A-level results in Northern Ireland is always a big event, and that's usually because local schools have once again outperformed others in England and Wales.

This year, results day is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as 37% of grades here have been downgraded by the examination board from the estimates provided months ago by teachers.

Instead of good news about record pass rates, there's the bad news about students falling far short of what was expected, leading many to wonder if they'll get the university places to which they've been looking forward.