Yesterday was A-Level results day. And it seems that County Durham’s sixth form and college students have this year achieved an excellent set of results – despite recent changes that have made exams harder.

All major post-16 qualifications have undergone reforms in the last few years. In 2017, more challenging assessments were introduced in 13 subjects, with an additional 11 subjects being made more difficult this year.

Many coursework components and modules have been abolished, with a greater focus put on exams.

Nevertheless, early indications show that County Durham’s post-16 exam results are continuing to improve. A-Level and Applied General and Tech Level results are all projected to be above the national average.

Schools and colleges have reported an overall rise in students gaining A and B grades and in students being accepted by their first-choice universities.

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Cllr Olwyn Gunn, said, “We are delighted that our young people have worked so hard to achieve these results and we offer them sincere congratulations.”

“Although the full national attainment and progress statistics are not yet available, the overall picture continues to be a positive one for County Durham and one where it is performing above the country average.”

“We also recognise and greatly value the support and encouragement given by our parents and carers.”

Nationally, fewer students this year have achieved A-level grades at C and above. The overall pass rate (grades A*-E) is also slightly down and boys have slightly outperformed girls.

Maths has remained the most popular choice of A-level subject, but Chinese has overtaken German as the third most popular foreign language.

Any County Durham students who didn’t get the grades they wanted, or would like to access careers advice, can visit Here you can learn about apprenticeships, recruitment and training for 16-24-year-olds in all parts of the county.

(Featured image courtesy of dcJohn, from Flickr Creative Commons.)

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