Exam results day: Nerve-jangling excitement and a rollercoaster of emotion for Midlands students

  • ITV News Central education correspondent Peter Bearne has spent the morning at Chellaston Academy in Derby, on the day thousands of school and college students across the Midlands will be finding out their A-level, T-level and BTEC Level 3 grades.

This year's A-level students have had no disruption to their studies due to coronavirus, so the exam regulator Ofqual and the Government are trying to return things to how they were pre-pandemic.

Their aim is to produce results comparable to those of 2019 after years of grade inflation caused by more generous "teacher assessment" marking.

Grade boundaries are being brought down, so there will be fewer top grades - some experts have estimated there could be nearly 100,00 fewer A and A* grades nationally.

Thousand of school leavers across the Midlands have had that "moment" as they found out their A-level, T-level and Level 3 BTEC results. Credit: ITV News Central

Peter Bearne reflects on a day filled with a rollercoaster of emotions for students:

I still vividly remember the day I got my A-level results - it's one of the most nerve-jangling moments in your life, and not one you're going to forget in a hurry. I went through it all again last year when my daughter got her results!

Today, thousands of school and college leavers across the Midlands have had that "moment" as they found out their A-level, T-level and Level 3 BTEC results.

The numbers getting top A-level grades is down sharply (from 35.9% in 2022 to 26.5% this year), but that was to be expected. The Government wanted stricter marking this year to produce grades more in line with pre-pandemic results - an attempt to get things "back to normal" after years of more generous, teacher-assessed grading.

The Class of 2023 haven't really had it "back to normal" though. Yes, their two years of A-level studies were free of COVID disruption, but the pandemic prevented their sitting their GCSE exams, and they've lost several days of learning due to industrial action by teachers.

Today, sixth-formers at Chellaston Academy in Derby have been telling us it has been particularly stressful taking their A-levels with no previous experience of sitting external exams. Many are now going on to university or apprenticeships.

At Leicester College, they've had their first batch of students completing their T-levels - a new technical qualification equivalent to 3 A-levels involving both classroom study and industry placements. Managers say 95% passed with 19 per cent achieving distinction in courses such as Education and Childcare, Construction, Digital and IT, and Health and Science.

Now comes the scramble for university places. Many young people will be ringing round Clearing hotlines to find the course they want. It could be a busy old year - with fewer top grades awarded, more students may have missed out on a place, and there has also been a population bulge in the number of 18 year olds, so there are more people applying for degree courses.

Congratulations to all our Midlands students who've got their results today, and good luck with whatever you do next.