Island’s A-level results buck the trend

Pupils at Castle Rushen High School

Pupils at Castle Rushen High School

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The island’s A-level results bucked the trend seen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the Department of Education and Children’s five secondary schools there was a rise in the proportion of A* and A grades and the pass rate was up on 2013 – the opposite was the case across.

The overall pass rate (A* to E), at 97.7 per cent was up by 0.6 per cent on last year, and the percentage of passes at the top grade of A* – 7.8 per cent – was the highest since its introduction in 2010.

To see passes for pupils at A-levels, see this week’s Examiner. It’s in the shops now.

Paul Craine, co-ordinating adviser for 11-19 education, said: ‘I have been in contact with headteachers and deputy heads across the DEC’s five secondary schools throughout the day and
 their feedback has been very positive.

‘It seems that the vast majority of students have obtained places at their first choice, or insurance choice, university and those who had a slight shortfall should be successful in the clearing system.

‘Two of the schools remarked on the success of particular students who had arrived at the school without being able to speak English and had now secured university places.

‘Another headteacher commented on the achievement of a student who had coped with multiple operations over the sixth form and had still secured good A level grades. One interesting feature was the strength of the mathematics results. Of the full A-level entries, 105 (over 9 per cent) were in maths or further maths, with a 47 per cent pass rate at grades A and A*.’

Some 42.3 per cent of entries achieved passes at higher grades A*-B, slightly down on last year’s figure of 43.6 per cent, but the second highest on record.

Using the UCAS tariff system (140 points for grade A*, 120 points for A, 100 for B, 80 for C, 60 for D, 40 for E) the average points score per entry at 83.7 was up on the previous year’s record of 83.3 points.

In total, 360 Year 13 students were entered for 1,150 A-levels and more than 300 AS levels in more than 40 subjects.

The number of entries per student, at 3.6, was lower than in recent years, reflecting greater focus on securing university places asking for three A-levels.

More than 40 subjects were available including Manx and world development.

The DEC said the results were not directly comparable with the results published in the UK last week.

The UK results relate to all entrants and include mature students and students in colleges and independent schools whereas the Isle of Man data relate solely to 18 year olds in the DEC’s five secondary schools.

Education Minister Tim Crookall said: ‘This is an excellent set of results and I would like to congratulate all A level students.

‘Despite the shift to a largely linear rather than modular A level, our sixth form students have again averaged more than three grade Bs each.

‘Good A level results reflect a great deal of hard work on the part of both students and staff, as well as considerable support from parents.

‘It is so important for the Isle of Man to have good educational outcomes like this.’

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