Findings Of Government Commissioned Report
Students Celebrate Their A-Level Results
We've been to Central Sussex College in Haywards Heath where Students have been collecting their A-Level Results
There's been a fall in Top grades nationally for the first time in Twenty years but the students Heart spoke to in Haywards Heath, had in the main got the results they needed and are planning their University careers. Most say they had to think twice with the rise in tuition fees, but all decided to go ahead; with help from Mum and Dad in most cases!
Hear from the students in our picture
This is the National picture; you can go to the bottom of the page to hear our interview with Richard Hailstone, the vice principal of Central Sussex College in Haywards Heath
Fewer A-levels scored top grades this year in the first drop for more than two decades, official figures show.
It comes as data showed that the number of students who have had their university places confirmed after receiving their results has dropped by almost seven percent.
Today's A-level results reveal that 26.6% of exams were awarded an A or A*, down from 27% in 2011 - a record drop of 0.4%.
It is the first time that the pass rate has dropped in more than 20 years, and believed to be the biggest fall in the history of A-levels.
Between 1990 and 1991 the proportion of exams scoring an A fell from 12% to 11.9%.
The A*-A pass rate stalled at 27% last year, the same as in 2010, it also plateaued in 1996 and 1997 at 15.7%.
Around one in 12 (7.9%) exams were given an A*, down from 8.2% in 2011. The A* grade was awarded for the third time this summer.
The falls come amid continuing attempts by the exams regulator Ofqual to tackle grade inflation.
It has told exam boards they will be asked to justify results that differ widely from previous years.
Exam chiefs insisted that the drop was down to more, and a broader range of, candidates taking A-levels,
Andrew Hall, chief executive of exam board AQA, said while the national cohort of 18-year-olds eligible to take A-levels was down from last year, the number of them taking the exams had risen.
He said this was because more people "recognise the importance of strong qualifications for their future careers'' and added: "It's very clear there's a different cohort profile which led us to believe we'd get what we got - which is a change in outcomes.''
The national cohort is down by 1.9% while the number of 18-year-olds sitting the exams has risen by 1.5%.
Mr Hall said: "Overall I think it's encouraging to see more people taking A-levels.''
Around 335,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are waking up to their A-level results.
But while many will be celebrating, others still face a scramble to secure a university place.
Initial UCAS figures show that as of midnight, 357,915 applicants had had their places confirmed, down from 384,649 at the same point in 2011 - a fall of 6.95%.
Around 79,000 UK applicants are still awaiting decisions, and that more than 10,000 people have already applied for places through clearing.
There is likely to be speculation that the drop in confirmed university places could be partly linked to students just missing their predicted grades.
Concerns have been raised this year that changes to university admissions will mean that bright teenagers who are predicted to score two As and a B, but just fall short, will struggle to gain a place.
Under a new system, there is now no limit on the numbers of students with two As and a B at A-level that universities can recruit.
But it means universities are likely to have less flexibility to admit students who just miss this standard, as there is still a strict cap on those who score less than AAB.
Hear from the Vice Principal at Central Sussex
This statement is from Brighton & Hove
A level students in Brighton & Hove are celebrating improved results with many gaining higher grades, according to provisional results published today.
The city's two sixth form colleges, BHASVIC and Varndean College have reported excellent results with overall pass rates of 98.2% and 97.9% respectively. This compares to 98% and 97.3% the previous year.
Many students have also been awarded higher grades with 58% achieving A* to B grades at BHASVIC and 58.5% achieving A* to B at Varndean.
Blatchington Mill has delivered its best results ever. The school has seen the number of pupils achieving A* to E grades rise from 112 in 2011 to 189 this year while the number of A* to B grades rose from 45 to 95 over the same period. Half of all grades achieved by Blatchington Mill students were at A* to B.
Cardinal Newman, which has delivered back to back high average scores over the last few years, delivered impressive sustained improvement with the number of grades A* to E up from 449 to 451. Those passing with grades A* to B rose from 212 to 219 - 47.5% of Cardinal Newman grades were at this level, which is the school?s best ever achievement.
Hove Park students saw the numbers passing at A level jump from 139 last year to 156 this year, a 100% pass rate. The numbers passing with A* to B grade was 41.
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