North East improves rate of top grades despite challenges of long term deprivation

Congratulations to all pupils, teachers and schools for their hard work and success.
Today’s A Level results show that the North East has been the only region to see an improvement in top grades, rising to 23%, while nationally top grades have fallen by 0.9%.
Data also shows that our pass rate has risen once again, to 98.3% and continues to be the highest of any region.

This year’s A Levels are the third year of the more rigorous reformed A Levels, with all subjects now linear two year courses. As such it is a real achievement for the region to see increases in top grades and overall passes, especially given that top grades have fallen across the rest of the country.

Schools North East Director of Operations, Chris Zarraga, said: Huge congratulations go to our students across the region. Their achievements are a testament to their hard work, and the professionalism of teachers and school leaders across our region.”

These positive results are in contrast to the recent Education Policy Institute report which highlighted that secondary students in disadvantaged areas were between 20-24 months behind their peers at age 16, and showed that the North East suffers some of the largest gaps in the country. We know that within the North East there is a far higher concentration of children experiencing the highest impact, long-term disadvantage than elsewhere in the country.  

Chris said “The region’s performance at A-level shows how hard the region’s schools work to close this ‘gap’. However, they also illustrate that much more needs to be done by the Government to ensure that any proposed future increases in funding are targeted to challenge the significant impact of disadvantage faced by students in deprived areas like the North East.  Sixth Forms have faced some of the steepest cuts with funding falling by 26% per pupil since 2010. This needs to be urgently resolved.”

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