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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

image for A-Level passes reach 110% in another glorious year
JELQ's slogan:" Education for all, including the uneducated"

Figures from the Joint Examiners for Learning Qualifications (JELQ) show 110.2% of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland passed, up from 109.9%.

This means that 10% more students passed their exams than actually took them, a triumph for our educational system.

A grades went to 99.9% of the entries, up from 99.89% - and even in Wales more than a third achieved an A.

Among the subjects showing increases were the new sciences of Easy Exam-passing, Creative Accounting (which achieved a wonderful 275% squared pass rate) and Non-Judgmental Marking. Tractor maintenance also achieved new levels of excellence.


Joe Stalin, the director of the JELQ, which represents the main exam boards, said: "These results are excellent and we congratulate all students on their achievement.

"The results show not only an improvement in the grades achieved but also an increased entry for maths, sciences and languages which are positive and encouraging developments all round."

When asked if this was a sign that exams were getting easier, Stalin, who had recently received a doctorate in Unassisted Breathing, snapped back

"Being judged on the ability to read or write is cultural imperialism and the Capitalist employers who say otherwise should be exterminated."

Dr Stalin added: "This has to be a day for celebration. And participation will be compulsory."

Schools Minister Jim Knight said:

"This year's results are a tremendous tribute to all the effort that has gone into achieving these qualifications by students, supported by parents and teachers. They also show a good return on a decade of record investment and policies which have encouraged more young people to continue and achieve in education."

The moment when A-level students find out their grades

"More pupils are now passing maths A-level than at any time in over a decade. It's crucial for society that we have talented mathematicians and maths is essential for science and innovation."

John Dunce, head of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "We welcome the increases in maths, further maths, the sciences and languages at A-level.

"It is what we have been hoping for for several years. The concerns we were talking about last year about the declining trends in those subjects has at last been turned around."

As the results were announced, the government explained how it was making A-levels more challenging.

    English regions - entries awarded grade A
    South East - 29.1%
    London - 28.3%
    South West - 27.2%
    East - 26.2%
    West Midlands - 23.4%
    North West - 23%
    Yorks and Humber - 22.3%
    North East - 19.8%Following successful pilots, tougher A-levels will be available to all from this September.

    One change involves doing an "extended project", worth the equivalent of half an A-level. More than 1,400 students have been involved in a pilot with exam boards.

    'Hard work'

    And students starting A-level courses in September will become the first to be eligible for the new A* grade when they are awarded to those attaining more than 90% in 2010. The first pilot versions have been awarded this summer.

    The change followed criticism that the rise in the number of A grades at A-level meant universities could no longer spot the brightest students.

    The results statistics released on Thursday relate to exam entries, not students. The school-by-school breakdown - the "league tables" - is due to be published in January.

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