1. ITV Report

South west pupils shine with A Levels results though critics say new system is 'tough'

Photo: ITV West Country

Many students in the region celebrated getting good grades after receiving their A-Level results.

Richard Huish College in Taunton, which was named by the Education Department as one of the best sixth forms in the south west, had an A-Level pass rate of 99% - an A*to B pass rate of 54%, and an A*to C pass rate of 78%.

87% of their pupils taking BTECs or other vocational courses got a distinction or higher - altogether part of a 100% pass rate.

Molly Willcocks was waiting to see if she'd won a university place to become a doctor. So, what's the verdict? Watch below:

This Class of 2017 were the first to face the A-levels new linear format.

AS-Level marks no longer count towards the final grade, and there is now less coursework and practical tests. The final exams are essentially all that count.

Critics and pupils say this change to the education system has created too much pressure:

Across the south west, one in four students got at least one A grade - nudging up slightly by 0.2% from last year.

However, according to UCAS, university applications are down.

Their figures show a sharp fall in the number would-be undergraduates - making this year the first time the number has dropped since tuition fees were increased in 2012.

Credit: ITV West Country

The evidence is still there that if you do have your A-Levels and ultimately your degree you will tend to do well in life.

It's not a necessary and sufficient condition, but it doesn't do any harm.

– Graham Taylor, New College Swindon Prinicipal

For those hoping to head to university - a disappointment might seem devastating, but clearing is on hand to help those who may not have made their grades.