Commenting on A level results day, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Today’s the day for giving credit where it’s due. Congratulations to all the students getting their results this morning. We must also recognise the hard work of the school and college staff who have helped them along the way.
“Today is a massive moment. A Levels are a passport to the next stage of life, either in employment or for further training and study.
“The relevant organisations have worked hard to make sure that students have not been disadvantaged by the reformed content and assessment, and this has been shown in the general stability of results.
“Grade boundaries are adjusted each year to reflect the demands of the exams, so this year’s group can have confidence their results are as valid as any other year.
“It is very encouraging to see the continuing trend of more female students taking science. Hopefully this shows that traditional attitudes to subjects like these have changed and they are most certainly no longer felt to be the preserve of male students.
“We know there is room for further improvement in the system as a whole and we will be working with our members over the coming months to identify some recommendations for change.
“To be successful at A Level, students need access to two things; a wide range of subjects to choose from and the right level of support to help them during their study. Sixth form funding has suffered terribly since 2010, making it harder and harder for schools and colleges to provide these essentials.
“We support the calls from across the education sector to raise the rate for 16, 17 and 18 year-old students to at least £4,760 per year. There is nothing guaranteed about A Level success, but the least we can do is to guarantee each student is properly supported with sufficient funding.”
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