Fewer St Helens pupils getting top A-level grades

New data shows that 6.4% of pupils who sat their A-levels in St Helens this year received three A*-A grade  down from 7.8% in 2017-18.
New data shows that 6.4% of pupils who sat their A-levels in St Helens this year received three A*-A grade down from 7.8% in 2017-18.

Fewer A-level students in St Helens achieved top grades last year, Department for Education figures show.


The new data shows that 6.4% of pupils who sat their A-levels in St Helens this year received three A*-A grade – down from 7.8% in 2017-18.

The percentage of those who achieved AAB or better also decreased from 14.3% to 11.9% this year.

Meanwhile, the average point score – which represents the average result across all students' qualifications – across all schools in the area rose from 32.6 to 32.7, equivalent to a higher C grade.

Female pupils performed better than their male counterparts overall, with an average point score of 33.2 compared to 32.0.

However, 8.2% of boys achieved the highest marks, compared to 5.0% of girls.

Across England, 12.3% of pupils achieved the top grades of A*-A – down from 12.5% last year – and 20.3% received at least AAB.

The average point score increased slightly since last year from 33.1 to 33.8 – both in the higher C grade.

Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “This year’s statistics show a small increase in the average points score and a small decrease in the percentage of students awarded A*-A.

“This may be linked to changes in the number of students taking A-level subjects which mean that the overall prior attainment of the cohort is a little different from the previous year.

“It may also be linked to the choice of A-level subjects with an increase in the number of entries to sciences which evidence suggests are graded more severely than other subjects.

“This could partly explain why there has been a slight decrease in the percentage of A*-A grades awarded.”

Julian Gravatt, Association of College’s deputy chief executive, also said that, while the average point score achieved by students has increased, the number of 18 year olds taking A-levels fell by 5.7% because “more of the population are choosing alternative routes”.

“It is good that achievement is rising and that Ofqual has maintained standards at the higher grades but the subject choices available to students have reduced because of annual real term funding cuts."