A-level results revealed

August 21, 2012

By Christine Keighery

Last Thursday saw the release of A-level results for many students throughout the area. There was jubilation and disappointment across the province as 17 and 18 year olds discovered their academic fate.   Northern Ireland figures showed a 10% rise in A-level entries over the past 5 years with a slight fall in the percentage awarded top grades of A or A*, from 27% last year to 26.6% this year.

Despite the decrease, the overall performance in the North was excellent once again, with 31.9% of students achieving the top two grades.

Ann Marie Duffy, Director of Qualifications at CCEA congratulated all pupils and teachers on their “outstanding performance” and reassured those who were disappointed with grades to go through the “clearing” system via UCAS, for other options.

Schools across Newry and Mourne also showed their support to help students and help them decide the best way forward.

With the debate on changes to future A-level examinations still ongoing, SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley congratulated students and called for schools to be consulted and involved in any decisions to change the current exams.

Mr Bradley wished all pupils success in their future endeavours and thanked teachers and parents for their hard work and support.

“Once again our students have produced excellent results in their A-level examinations. I congratulate every student on their individual achievements.

Each of them has made an important step in their life-long learning journey.

“I have no doubt but that Northern Ireland A-Level students performed extremely well – an achievement which is contributed to by a variety of schools of different types – secondary, grammar, and colleges of further education..

“A-level results continue to improve and it is unfortunate that some have attempted to denigrate the work of students and teachers but I believe that we should salute teachers and pupils for their hard work, dedication and co-operation which has meant that many ‘A’ Level students have reached their full potential.”

Mr Bradley commiserated with those students whose results did not match their expectations and stressed the importance of contacting their careers advisors to explore the many possibilities still available to them.

Referring to the debate on the future of the current A-level examinations, the MLA said,

“Before any changes in A-Levels are introduced, schools and colleges who are at the chalk face of delivering courses should be fully consulted and their views taken into account.  It is important that all courses are kept under review and meet the demands

of a rapidly changing world but changes should not be made without reference to all stake holders in the process.”