City students buck downward trend

A-Level Results
A-Level Results

Schools across Sheffield bucked national trends to post improved A-level results after a run up to the big day marred by fear and uncertainty.

Concerns that results would be hit by changes to courses amd exams were borne out as the overall pass rate fell slightly for the first time on over 30 years.

For the third successive year the percentage of A* and A grades fell slightly - down from 26.3 per cent to 26 per cent.

But there was good news for students even if they missed their required grades, with a record number of university places available.

More students achieved the top A*, A and B grades in Sheffield than ever before.

Schools posting improved results across the city included Tapton, King Edward VII, Notre Dame, Sheffield High School and Forge Valley.

The High School posted 80 per cent of passes at A* to B, with Tapton on 71 and Notre Dame on 58.

Sheffield Park Academy on the Manor said it expected to better last year’s figure of 50 per cent top grades.

Longley Park College, which takes in students from across the north of Sheffield, also had an improved pass rate, up from 36 to 38 per cent.

Other schools held their own - Silverdale and High Storrs both achieved 60 per cent.

Of schools to reveal their results, only All Saints on 58 and Birkdale on 70 fell back slightly.

Sheffield College, the city’s biggest A-level provider, also slipped slightly from 20 to 18 per cent of top class grades.

Tapton’s head of sixth form Andrew Wright said Tapton’s results were its best for the second year running.

“We’ve been experiencing significant changes and general uncertainty this year with a return to more exam-based courses at both AS and A-level,” he said.

“We would have been content at Tapton to see results similar to last year, so to see improvement in this context is remarkable.

“A four pper cent rise is better than anything we were expecting - in fact I was up late last night going through the figures again to make sure they were correct.”

Steve Fowler, head of Meadowhead School, said the move to remove marks for modules and coursework had inevitably caught out some students.

“There were some disappointments and surprises, more for them than for us,” he said.

“But despite that the majority of our students have secured places at unversity, only three are still awaiting responses.”

This year’s students were affected by a decision to scrap the January exam session, which cut the chances students had to re-sit papers.

Exam board managers said more students were also opting for tougher courses in more traditional subjects favoured by universities, even if they were likely to result in less favourable results.