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EDITIONS
Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
NI pupils score top UK grades
exam candidates
Exam body says the results are due to hard work
Northern Ireland students have gained more top A-level grades than their counterparts in England and Wales.

The results will be delivered to students on Thursday morning.

The exams body, the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, said a record 48,000 grades will be issued.

Results for the controversial AS courses for lower sixth pupils are also released on Thursday and pupils did much better than those in England and Wales.

There were complaints that AS-levels had been rushed in and both teachers and pupils felt overworked.

'Maintained position'

However, the exams body chief executive, Gavin Boyd, said pupils were not marked leniently to make up for the problems.


I am particularly pleased with the superb performance at AS-level

Gavin Boyd, CCEA

"Local students have maintained their position as top performers nationally, something of which they should be very proud," he said.

"I am particularly pleased with the superb performance at AS-level.

"I hope that these wonderful results are seen by pupils and teachers as a proper reward for what has undoubtedly been a tough year for all."

However, for some pupils in North Down there will be a further wait because their papers were lost by the examinations board.

Thirty pupils in Bangor Grammar sat three exams in Business Studies, but although the school sent them off for marking, the English exam board, the AQA, appears to have lost some of them.

The school said the board told them about a week ago that the papers for one module were missing. They were found and are only now being marked.

This year's results showed:

  • The percentage of A-level students who gained a grade A was 24.6%, ahead of Wales on 19.9% and England on 18.3%

  • The number of Northern Ireland pupils getting A to E passes was 92.1%

  • The percentage of girls in Northern Ireland who got A-grades was 3.1% more than males

  • The figure was 3% for Wales and 0.6% for England

  • A comparison of the pass rates of the two sexes showed Northern Ireland females performed less well than their English and Welsh counterparts

    The AS-level results showed that 28% of Northern Ireland students gained a grade A compared with 16.8% in England and 16.5% in Wales.

    'Delighted'

    Northern Ireland pupils were ahead again in grades A-E, with 92.5%, Wales on 87.1% and England on 86.4%.


    The results are a credit to the efforts of not only the pupils themselves but also the dedication of the teachers

    Martin McGuinness, Education Minister

    The CCEA said it was "delighted" with the Northern Ireland tables.

    Northern Ireland Education Minister Martin McGuinness and Employment and Learning Minister Dr Sean Farren congratulated students and teachers on their achievement.

    "The results are a credit to the efforts of not only the pupils themselves but also the dedication of the teachers and lecturers in our schools and colleges," said Mr McGuinness.

    The AS-level results "showed our pupils in a very good light", he said.

    Dr Farren said: "Some young people will receive what they might consider bad news because their results have not lived up to their expectations.

    "They should not be downhearted or despondent - everyone who has come through the process has achieved something and, while they may not be able to follow their first preference, there are many other opportunities open to them to continue learning through training or studying in the work place.

    "We all have to realise that learning is a lifelong process."

    The GCSE results are due out in a week's time.


    The table below shows an overview of the results and the gender gap - how much women's results exceeded those of men.

    % of all entries
    Grade A
    Grades A-E
    Gender gap Grade A
    Gender gap Grades A-E
    A-levels
    England
    91.7%
    18.3%
    89.6%
    0.6%
    1.9%
    Wales
    4.4%
    19.9%
    92.0%
    3.0%
    1.7%
    NI
    3.9%
    24.6%
    92.1%
    3.1%
    1.5%
    AS-levels
    England
    93.2%
    16.8%
    86.4%
    3.1%
    4.3%
    Wales
    4.4%
    16.5%
    87.1%
    4.0%
    4.5%
    NI
    2.4%
    28.0%
    92.5%
    3.4%
    2.8%

    Back to main text

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    BBC NI education correspondent Maggie Taggart
    "The results are better than England and Wales"
    Exam results in the UK

    GCSEs/GNVQs

    A/AS-levels

    Success stories

    Features

    Row over new exams

    WATCH/LISTEN

    TALKING POINT

    Go to BBC Student EssentialsExam results?
    Essential advice and information for students
    See also:

    30 Mar 01 | UK Education
    26 Jun 01 | UK Education
    Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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    Links to more N Ireland stories

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