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Numbers of A-level exams awarded top grades have risen for the first time in six years, summer results show.Read the full story ›
Hundreds of thousands of teenagers received their A-level results today - but among them was a slightly older student - a headteacher who decided to resit his exams decades after first taking them.
Michael Jackson from Nottingham felt he should have done better at the exams when he was younger, having got two E grades, so this year he joined his students in studying, revising and entering the exam hall in an effort to improve his grades - which he did.
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The UK needs to cut out party politics if it is to improve education for young people and tackle the "unacceptably low level" of literacy and numeracy, a business leader has said in a report calling for A levels to be scrapped.
Sir Michael Rake, chairman of BT and president of business group CBI, said:
Over the last 25 years and longer there have been multiple initiatives from different Secretaries of State which have not achieved the necessary improvement in educational standards.
It is therefore time to establish a cross-party apolitical approach to education to move on from our narrow out-dated focus with A-levels and to improve on the other competencies necessary for success including the fundamental need to improve the basic skills of literacy and numeracy which are at an unacceptably low level.
Sixth-form students would learn "softer skills" and keep their academic options open for longer if a baccalaureate replaced A levels, a report has said.
Education chiefs called for a wider baccalaureate to be brought in so 16-18-year-olds would cover languages, sciences and softer skills like teamwork.
The move would allow young people to keep their career options open and give them more opportunities later in life, the report argues.
The business leaders and academics behind the report said a baccalaureate, similar to the International Baccalaureate which teenagers take in mainland Europe, could also be used to teach students critical thinking and problem solving.
"In broad terms they are the skills that enable young people to face the demands of higher education and career challenges in a global and very competitive environment," the report said.
The Government needs to "give more thought" to the students who did not get A-levels or equivalent qualifications, a leading teaching union has said:
We hope students get the grades they need tomorrow to enable them to go to university, get a training place or find a good job.
But we fear for those who don't, because their prospects don't look rosy at a time when nearly a million 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work.
All young people need the chance to show what they've learnt, whether they want to go to university or not, but these new exam proposals won't let them do that.
To find out how a school in England performed in the 2012 GCSE and A/AS Level exam results, you can enter a postcode or the school name or town here.