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A-level Results Day 2018: Top Essex grades improve with over 26% awarded A*s or As

PUBLISHED: 17:37 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:37 16 August 2018

Students celebrating at Clacton Coastal Academy Picture: HAMZA SLIM

Students celebrating at Clacton Coastal Academy Picture: HAMZA SLIM

HAMZA SLIM

More than one in four A-levels in Essex were awarded top grades this year – as overall results exceeded the national average.

Boys outperformed girls this year, according to national data Picture: Peter Byrne/PA WireBoys outperformed girls this year, according to national data Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

This is an improvement on last year, which saw the county fall just shy of the 97.7% UK-wide figure with 97.7%.

Around 4,500 students took exams at schools across Essex this year – and initial data, obtained from state-funded schools and sixth-forms, reveals overall results climbed to 98%.

Just over three quarters of the grades awarded were A*-C grades, while 26% of A-levels were graded A*-A.

Essex’s education chief Ray Gooding said he is pleased the efforts of students and teachers has been rewarded, adding: “We are committed to ensuring young people in Essex get the best possible education and I am delighted to hear that the county’s students have again achieved some fantastic results.

Essex County Council's education chief Ray Gooding Picture: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCILEssex County Council's education chief Ray Gooding Picture: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL

“A lot of hard work, dedication and commitment goes into studying for the exams and I am pleased that effort has been rewarded.

“Congratulations to everyone who collected their results today and best of luck for the future, whatever that may hold.”

Nationally, the number of A-levels awarded top grades hit a six-year high.

But the proportion handed the very top result fell to its lowest level since 2013.

Overall, 26.4% of UK entries were given one of the two top grades of A and A*, up 0.1 percentage points on 2017.

Boys continued to outperform girls at the highest grades, according to statistics published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

A total of 26.6% of boys’ entries were awarded at least an A grade, compared to 26.2% for entries from their female peers.

Latest statistics also reveal STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and maths – are growing even more popular.

More than a third – 36.2% – of all A-level entries in Britain were in these subjects, up from 34.5% last year and 28% in 2009.

Michael Turner, JCQ director general, said: “Students, and teachers, should be congratulated.

“They can be confident in their grades, knowing they have been achieved in a world-class system that is robust, challenging and fair.”

Above statistics for Essex do not include Thurrock and Southend.

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