The first drop in A-level passes in more than 30 years and a fall in top-grade passes were probably triggered by a growth in the number of candidates taking traditional academic subjects, exam boards have suggested.
Yesterday’s results show that the percentage of A* to B grade A-level passes fell by 0.5 percentage points to 52.4 per cent this year. Meanwhile, the overall pass rate dipped for the first time in 32 years, from 98.1 per cent to 98 per cent. This coincided with a major increase in the number of candidates taking the “facilitating subjects” – such as maths and science – which are necessary to secure a place at one of the more prestigious universities.
The grades, received by 300,000 teenagers, were being described as “the Gove legacy results” – the first to show the impact of the former Education Secretary Michael Gove’s exam reforms.