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  1. ITV Report

Thousands pick up A levels results as top grades rise

Georgia Wisker and George Cole picking up A level results at King Edward VI in Bury St Edmunds Credit: ITV Anglia

Thousands of youngsters have been picking up their A level results as the number getting the top grades rose for the first time in six years.

National figures show that 26.3% of A-level entries scored an A* or A this summer, up 0.5 percentage points on 2016.

It is the first time the A*-A pass rate has risen since 2011.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Emily Knight

The rise comes amid major changes to the qualifications, with the first grades awarded in 13 subjects that have been reformed, with a move away from coursework and modular exams throughout the course, making them more challenging for students.

The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) also show boys have pulled further ahead at the highest grade while girls remain ahead in terms of A*-A grades.

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

At King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds there was double joy for twins Matthew and Sebastian Bowkis.

The 19-year-old's results were an exact mirror of each others, both with A in Maths and Physics and a B in Chemistry. They're both off to Bristol University.

Matthew and Sebastian Bowkis got exactly the same results Credit: ITV Anglia

For many A level results day is anything but a celebration. Disappointing grades or uncertainty about what to do next can make it an unsettling time.

There are many options for students with clearing to get a university place and the alternative of working with thousands of apprenticeships now available.

  • Click below to watch a report by Elodie Harper about missing her grades gave apprentice Natalie Lucken from Royston the push to find the perfect start

Another very pleased pupil at the school was 18-year-old Natasha Parrott, who got three A stars in maths, further maths and physics.

Natasha Parrott, in green, got three A stars Credit: ITV Anglia

Schools have been tweeting about their grades.

Pupils at Paston School in North Walsham celebrate their results Credit: Paston School

Bedford Borough today said provisional figures showed 78% of students have achieved 3 or more A*-E grades at A-level.

In Norfolk, the county council said 73 per cent of entries achieved grades A*- C.

For those who haven't been as successful there's advice here on what to do if you didn't get the grades you wanted.