A-Level results day 2021: 45% of entries get A or A* as top grades nearly DOUBLE in 2 years since exams ditched

STUDENTS have scored record A-Level results this year after the number of top grades almost doubled under teacher-assessment.

A whopping 45% of grades were at A* and A this year, sky-rocketing from the 25% registered when exams were last held in 2019.

A staggering 44.3% of 18-year-olds achieved A-A* grades, whereas 44.8% of all students regardless of age got A-A*.

The number of pupils getting a B and above has also risen sharply to 70% with those at private schools and in London among the biggest winners.

But while the proportion of top grades has grown, the percentage of those at C to E has remained "relatively stable".

Officials admitted that the discrepancy is partly down to teachers giving their pupils "some benefit of the doubt".

Just under one in five (19%) of all grades awarded was at the top A* level.

And a massive 12,945 students in England registered three A*s compared to 7,774 last year and just 2,664 in 2018.

For the second year in a row final results were graded by teachers after exams had to be scrapped due to missed learning during lockdown.

Grade inflation fears

The results have sparked fears of rampant grade inflation and a massive rush for university places that will strain the system.

There are also concerns about whether the unusually high results could penalise future generations once exams return.

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Private schools have seen a big increase in A* and As, registering 70% of results at that grade this year compared to 44% in 2019.

London saw the greatest growth in top level results and the East Midlands registered the biggest rise in the proportion of students getting a C or above.

Exam regulator Ofqual said: "The overall increase in outcomes this year compared to previous years may partly reflect the change in assessment arrangements.

"For example, teachers may have given students some benefit of the doubt across the multiple opportunities many students had to show what they had learned – quite different from end of course exams."

'Unprecedented disruption'

Hundreds of thousands of youngsters across England flocked to schools to open their A-Level results this morning.

More than 695,000 were awarded today as well as 340,000 vocational and technical qualifications.

A record 210,000 youngsters in England have already had their university places confirmed, of which 192,000 got their first choice place.

Gavin Williamson insisted parents and pupils could be "incredibly proud" of this year's results and reassured them the grading system is robust.

The education secretary admitted "we do expect students to be getting better grades" but said it's "very difficult" to compare their achievements to previous years.

And he insisted businesses looking to recruit young people "can have real confidence" that the results are a fair reflection of their ability.

It is about success and we should be celebrating that success

He said: "This cohort of students have had to deal with a level of disruption that no-one has seen before, not even during a world war.

"We do have a rigorous system of grading and people have been awarded these grades on the basis of evidence."

He added: "We should start off by congratulating all children for the amazing work they’ve done.

"They’ve worked tirelessly. We should be incredibly proud of their achievements, incredibly proud of the grades they achieve.

"It is about success and we should be celebrating that success."

In a video message Boris Johnson congratulated youngsters for their stellar results this year and wished them "good luck with your next big moves".

The PM said: "I know it's been a particularly difficult year for everybody doing A-levels because of the pandemic and the conditions in which you've been working but thank you for persevering, for getting on with it.

"If you haven't got exactly the results that you were wanting never mind – it happens to the best of us, and there are plenty of options for UCAS."

Youngsters across Wales and Northern Ireland also got their A-Level results today, while pupils in Scotland received grades in their Highers exams.

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