几乎 45% of A-level entries across UK awarded top grades

几乎 45% of A-level entries across the UK have been awarded top grades in A-level results, a record-breaking return for students after more than a year of disruption and school closures during the pandemic.

这 44.8% in top grades in England, Wales and Northern Ireland matched earlier predictions by university admissions officers but was lower than others had feared, following a 13 percentage point increase between 2019, the last time formal exams were held, 和 2020.

In Northern Ireland, 50.8% of entries were awarded A* or A, up from 31% 在 2019, while in Wales the proportion awarded top grades rose by more than six percentage points compared with last year, 到 48.3%.

今年, A-level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been awarded through teacher-assessed grades (标签) overseen by examination boards, while the Scottish Qualifications Authority will use a similar process in making awards. Education policy is devolved to national governments, so each of the four countries have their own systems and qualifications.

In England alone, 44.3% of entries gained A* and A grades, 和....相比 38.1% 在 2020. 全面的, 88.2% of the more than 750,000 entries by 18-year-olds in England received grades C or above, little changed for 2020 什么时候 87.5% did so.

The figures also revealed that 12,945 sixth-formers in England gained three A*s – nearly 7% of all candidates – compared with 7,700 在 2020 和 3,000 在 2019. Nineteen per cent of entries in England were awarded A*, 和....相比 14% 在 2020 when grades were also assessed by schools.

The rise was fuelled partly by a record-breaking increase in grades awarded by independent schools and centres outside the state sector, 在哪里 39.5% gained the top A* grade, 和....相比 27.4% 在 2020 和 16% 在 2019. Seventy per cent of entries at private schools received A grades or higher, 和....相比 39% at comprehensives and 42% at academies.

There were also wide disparities in regional results. While more than 47% of entries in London and the south of England received A* or A, 39% of those in the north-east of England did so.

The latest figures are likely to spark further questions about the unequal distribution of grades. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), representing the examination boards, 说: “Exam boards looked at student work from all types of school and college as part of the external quality assurance process. They did not find that any type of school or college was more likely than others to have provided grades that did not reflect the standard of their students’ work.

“的确, they found that, irrespective of the type of school or college, the grades were largely supported by the quality of students’ work.”

The results show the gender gap for top grades at its widest since at least 2011, with the rate of A* and As standing at 46.4% for male students and 41.7% for female students. This marks a gap of 4.7 points, an increase on 3.1 points last year and a reversal of the trend seen in the three years prior to that when male students outperformed female students.

The JCQ also issued details of the oversight carried out by exam boards in scrutinising the teacher-assessed results submitted by schools. It said that work from 1,101 centres in England – about one in five schools and colleges – was scrutinised. 在 85% of all cases at Ofqual-regulated centres “subject experts were satisfied that the evidence supported the Tags [teacher assessed grades] that had been submitted”.

Of the remaining 165 centres, it said that “in most cases the exam boards were satisfied either with the school or college’s original judgments or with the revised Tags which they submitted”. But it said that “the exam boards were in continuing discussions with a small number of centres either because of issues identified through the quality assurance process or as a result of concerns about a centre’s practice raised directly with the exam boards or with Ofqual.”

“Results will be withheld for these schools and colleges should these concerns remain unresolved on results day,” the JCQ said.

在威尔士, the education minister, Jeremy Miles, told students: “While your experiences and the way in which you have been assessed have been different, the value of these qualifications is not. You can can be sure that your grades reflect your hard work throughout this year, and you fully deserve the qualifications you receive.”

Wales cancelled exams two months earlier than in England, which the Labour-led government said had provided greater certainty for centres and learners.

This year’s results will be pored over by hundreds of thousands of students and their families, with a record 43% of school-leavers applying for places on university courses for this autumn.

去年, 不合格, the exam regulator in England, attempted to award qualifications using an algorithm that allocated grades to each school based on past results, but that was abandoned shortly after A-levels were published, following an uproar.

今年, grading has been left in the hands of schools without restrictions, but Ofqual and Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, have defended teachers from accusations of causing grade inflation.

“Teachers know what their students can do and, in the absence of formal exams, there is no person or system better placed to fairly judge young people’s abilities,” Williamson said.

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