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Thousands of teenagers around the North East will be receiving their A-level results this morning.
Last year, 22.1 per cent of grades here were A* or As - a slight rise from 2015, but still the lowest figure in the country.
The region's pass rate (A*-E grades) remained at 98.5 per cent - the highest in the country.
This year's results are the first since the government introduced major reforms to A-levels.
Changes include AS results at the end of year 12 no longer contributing towards A-level marks, a move away from coursework and towards final exams, and updated subject content.
Results are therefore expected to be more unpredictable, and there have been reports of grade boundaries being lowered to avert a dramatic fall in top grades.
Exam regulator Ofqual said: "the exam boards set grade boundaries and they have used the same approach as in every year, to ensure fairness between students over time and between boards.
We have overseen the A-level awarding process in the same way as in previous years and have not intervened to ask any exam board to change the grade boundaries they have set this summer."
Teenagers in some parts of England are up to 18 times more likely to go to university than their peers in other areas, a study suggests.Read the full story ›