A-Level Results 2021 - More than 40 per cent of entries across Yorkshire and Humber awarded A or A* grades

More than forty per cent of A -Level entries across Yorkshire and the Humber have been awarded top grades, after results soared to an all time high following the second year of cancelled exams.

Faith Bryant (left) and Abbie Hollis at Archbishop Blanch School in Liverpool, as students receive their A-Level results. (PA/Peter Byrne)

Record numbers of students have been accepted on to degree courses across the UK, as pupils receive their results after 18 months of disruption to their education caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, 41.1 per cent of grades awarded in Yorkshire and the Humber were A or A* up from 35 per cent which achieved top marks last year.

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Almost all entries were given a pass, with 99.6 per cent achieving an A* - E grade across the region, in line with the national figures where 99.5 per cent passed.

Nationally, almost 45 per cent of entries (44.8 per cent) were awarded top grades, this summer with around one in five (19.1 per cent) given an A*.

The highest proportion of top grades could be found in London, where 47.9 per cent of entries received an A or an A*, up from 40.7 per cent last year.

The lowest A and A* rate was in the North - East of England, where 39.2 per cent of grades were awarded those top marks.

According to an analysis by Ofqual, some 6.9% of students in England were awarded three A*s this year – compared with 4.3% in 2020 and 1.6% in 2019.

Last summer, the fiasco around grading led to thousands of A-level students having their results downgraded from school estimates by a controversial algorithm before Ofqual announced a U-turn.

This year, no algorithm was used to moderate grades and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said teacher assessment was the “only” approach Government could take this year, explaining it was “fair and right” on students.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday: “I believe that what we have done in terms of actually trusting teachers, giving them the support and actually working with them in order to be able to get grades for children and students, is the absolute right approach.

“It’s the approach that, in my mind, as we developed contingency plans… it was the only approach that we could take. And I think it’s fair and right on the system, but most importantly fair and right on students themselves.”

Schools and colleges in England were asked to provide samples of student work to exam boards, as well as evidence used to determine the grades for the students selected, as part of quality assurance (QA) checks.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said it would be “invidious to make direct comparisons” between this year’s results and others, and called on people to “celebrate the achievements of this year’s cohort”.

He went on: “The majority of university applicants will now go on to their preferred university, and those who have missed grades and go through the clearing process will receive support from universities, schools and colleges to find a course which fulfils their aspirations.

“It will be important that universities provide educational and pastoral support to their new undergraduates given the extreme disruption they have faced during the course of the pandemic, and we are sure this is fully understood already.”