Another record year for A-level results

EXPERTS are today predicting the pass rate for A-level results will rise again this year - for what will be the 27th year in a row.

EXPERTS are today predicting the pass rate for A-level results will rise again this year - for what will be the 27th year in a row.

Last year the pass rate topped 97 per cent and one in four exams, 25.9 per cent were awarded an A grade.

Professor Alan Smithers, from the University of Buckingham's centre for education and employment research said: “My guess is something like 26.5 per cent of entries will get an A grade this year.”

But while students who get their required grades will be celebrating, safe in the knowledge that their university place is secure, those who fall below their predicted results face a scramble to secure a spot.

A surge in applications fuelled by the recession and the Government's cap on extra places means there are very few openings still available.

Most of England's leading universities are full and just 22,000 places are expected to be available through clearing - half the amount available last year.

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As the results are published, teachers have appealed for pupils to be allowed to enjoy their day of success without complaints about the exams being “dumbed down.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Every year our young people demonstrate their commitment and enthusiasm for learning, and every year despite this there is a chorus of criticism from those who simply can't believe that it is young people's efforts and the quality of teaching that have yielded the results.

“Parents, young people and the general public should ignore those critics and celebrate young people's success.”