A-Level grades gap between private and state schools continues to widen

Credit: PA

The longstanding gap between the proportion of private and state school students gaining top A-level grades has widened further.

On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of students were given grades determined by teachers, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.

While the proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher surged to an all-time high, there were disparities between certain groups of students.

Labour MP Peter Kyle encouraged state school teachers to advocate for students whose "talents aren't recognised" by the results

70.1% of independent school pupils were awarded an A or A*, compared to 39.3% of those studying at comprehensive schools.

The gap has widened by 3.7% since last year. It has also increased by 6.8% since 2019, which means the disparity has worsened during the pandemic.

Labour MP Peter Kyle encouraged state school teachers to advocate for pupils whose "talents aren't recognised" by the results. He said staff should call higher education institutions to vouch for the students.

"Go to bat for them," he said. "Because those young people need it and they deserve it."

There were also regional disparities in England. This year, the North East had the lowest number of students receiving A and A* grades (39.2%), followed closely by the West Midlands (40.9%). London had the highest (47.9%) and the South East had came second (47.1%)

Girls performed better than boys at the top grades in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and female maths students overtook their male counterparts for the first time in the number of A* grades achieved. In Scotland, school results were consistently lower than last year, but have shown a sharp rise since 2019.