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Record results in latest exam figures

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Stephen TimmsSchool Standards Minister at the Department for Education and Skills, Stephen Timms today congratulated this year’s A Level, Advanced GNVQ, Advanced Vocational Certificate and AS Level candidates on their exam results. He praised students for their hard work and success, and thanked teachers, lecturers, parents and examiners for their vital contributions.

The results show that:

  • For those completing their A levels, the overall pass rate rose to 89.8% from 89.1% last year.
  • A level entries now reflect a wider variety of subject choices although the take-up of traditional courses, such as English and Maths, continues to be favoured by A level students;
  • Around 60% of first year 6th form students have been studying at least four subjects this year, compared with 10% last year.
  • The proportion of Advanced GNVQ passes rose from 58.8% last year to 59.8%.

Stephen Timms said:

“Today is a day for celebration for advanced level candidates. Everyone receiving their results today, whether they have taken A levels, new AS qualifications, Advanced GNVQs or Advanced Vocational Certificates, should feel a real sense of achievement. This year I pay particular thanks to the teachers, lecturers and parents who have provided an outstanding level of support and encouragement to students, in particular to those in their first year of advanced study.

“We should not forget to acknowledge the huge effort this year by the individuals in the awarding bodies and the many thousands of examiners. Our thanks to them all for delivering these results on time after marking a record number of papers.

“We have acknowledged that the new exams introduced this year meant that there were extra burdens placed on students and teachers, but these results show that they have responded magnificently to that challenge. Last month we announced measures to improve the new arrangements, but we have looked carefully at this year’s experience and we now have a strong platform to build on this success.

“For too long, as a nation, we have lagged behind our competitors, but we are on track to catch up. Students are increasingly widening their breadth of study – something the new AS Level was introduced to provide – to meet the demands of the workplace and improve their job prospects. Together with our other reforms, like Modern Apprenticeships, this will ensure our workforce is world class.

“For fifty years A levels have been a rigorous test of ability and they remain a crucial benchmark of quality. Our commitment to raising standards across the board in education has seen the pass rate improve again this year. Students realise the benefits of sheer hard work and endeavour to produce outstanding results.

“I believe that offering more choice has motivated many students to continue and to broaden their study programmes. Like universities and industry they recognise the importance of good qualifications in more subjects. The combination of academic and vocational learning now available will boost their skills and help them make the most of their abilities.

“Many of the young people who did so well today can now look forward to moving on to university. By 2010 we want half of all people under 30 to have the opportunity of higher education. They will go on to make a real contribution to the nation’s productivity and I wish them every success for the future.”

The GCSE and Part One Foundation and Intermediate GNVQ results will be published on Thursday 23 August

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