Rise in A-Level top grades significantly lower in the North East compared to rest of the country

Thousands of young people in the North East have been picking up their A-Level results today - with the proportion of entries awarded an A grade or higher significantly lower than any other region.

Other parts of the country saw rises of around 6-7%.

  • James Andriot, the Principal at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle:

This disparity between regions didn't really happen last year, with a rise of A or A* grades in the North East around 12.6%.

What does the data show? The percentage of A-level entries awarded the top grades (A* or A) by each region:

  • North-east England 39.2%

  • North-west England 41.4%

  • Yorkshire & the Humber 41.1%

  • West Midlands 40.9%

  • East Midlands 41.3%

  • Eastern England 44.8%

  • South-west England - 44.7%

  • South-east England - 47.1%

  • London - 47.9%

This year students have been given grades determined by teachers, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.

The grades are based on various pieces of work, including mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

Last summer, the fiasco around grading led to thousands of A-level students having their results downgraded from school estimates by a controversial algorithm before Ofqual announced a U-turn.

This year, no algorithm was used to moderate grades.

Exams were cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19. Credit: PA

UCAS figures also released on Tuesday showed a record number of students across the country have been accepted onto UK degree courses this year.

In total, 435,430 students have had places confirmed on an undergraduate course in the UK, up 5% on the same point last year, according to data published by the university admissions service.