Results day: Joy for thousands in the East as number of top grades highest on record

  • Watch Rob Setchell's report here

Thousands of young people in the region opened their A-level results today, and it was great news for many with the number of top grades the highest on record.

Exams were cancelled for a second year because of the pandemic. Instead, grades given by teachers.

Nearly 1 in 5 got the top A*, compared to around 1 in 7 last year

Maths was the most popular subject, followed by Psychology and Biology

Here in the east, the number of A* and A grades was up by 17% compared to last year.

The amount of students with a confirmed place on an undergraduate course in the UK is up 5% compared to last year. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Elliot Buckingham came into @UTCNorfolk this morning hoping for AAB and a place at Bristol.He ended up with three A*s and is now hoping that Cambridge University might accept him to study computer science.

Some say that a record set of A-level results devalues those top marks, but try telling that to the headteachers glowing with pride.

Headteacher Alex Hayes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ella from Cedars Upper School in Bedfordshire was also over the moon when she opened her results. She's off to university in Manchester in September after getting two A*s and an A.

At Coplestone High School in Ipswich it was very quiet. Students were emailed their grades instead.

The principal, Andy Green, said they made the decision with a heavy heart, but the excellent results were a testament to the students and staff.  

While it might be a happy day for many, it's certainly not been an easy year for students during the pandemic, and the number of young people who've called Childline because of exam worries doubled this year.

The NSPCC says the pandemic has meant extra stress for pupils with home learning, however they're urging anyone with worries to talk about them and remember that today's results won't define the rest of their lives.

Click here to get some advice on results stress from NSPCC's Helen Westerman.

This year there's been a record number of students who've been given a place at their first choice of university.

However one in 10 haven't - and that's where the clearing system kicks in.

But what is clearing and how does it work?

ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers put some FAQs to David Seaton - Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the University of Bedfordshire:

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