Press release

Schools Minister congratulates students on their A and AS levels and advanced diploma results

Nick Gibb congratulated students on their A level, AS level and advanced diploma results and praised the hard work of schools and colleges.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb congratulated tens of thousands of students on their A level, AS level and Advanced Diploma results and praised the hard work of schools and colleges this year.

The UK 2010 A level, AS level and Advanced Diploma results were published today by the Joint Council for Qualifications - which represents the largest qualification awarding organisations in the country.

It is the first year the new A* grades and the new A2 exams, designed to stretch and challenge the brightest students, have been awarded. It is also the first year young people have been awarded the new Advanced Diploma.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

All students who received their A and AS level results today know how hard they have worked and I’d like to congratulate them on their achievement. A levels are an important milestone in life and open up great opportunities for academic study in higher education and for future careers. I’d also like to thank the teachers, schools, colleges and parents who have put so much effort into preparing young people.

Despite everyone’s hard work there is still much work to be done. England has one of the most stratified and segregated school systems in the world. It is scandalous that of the 80,000 students in one year eligible for free school meals, just 45 got to Oxbridge. The Coalition government is committed to all young people, regardless of their background, having the best opportunity to achieve success. That is why we are determined to narrow the historic and entrenched attainment gap between those from the poorest and most wealthy backgrounds.

Tackling this inequality of opportunity is the driving force behind the Coalition’s reform agenda: giving schools the freedom to offer the best exams and to set their own priorities; creating a strong core curriculum which gives children the knowledge to think for themselves and allows teachers to inspire their pupils; introducing the Pupil Premium to give support to the most disadvantaged; and strengthening vocational qualifications, including the setting up of new technical academies and the expansion of apprenticeships.

A levels are a crucial measurement of academic achievement. We will work with universities and employers to ensure that it meets their needs in the future.

On A*s

Mr Gibb said:

The A* grade represents genuine top-level attainment. The most competitive universities have long wanted to differentiate between top performing students. The previous Government introduced the A* to help them do this. It is now down to universities to decide how they use it.

On Advanced Diplomas

Mr Gibb said:

There will be a place for the Diploma as long as there is demand for it. It is for schools, colleges and students to decide whether it is the best qualification for them. That’s why we have made it easier for schools and colleges to choose the Diplomas they think are right for their students, rather than having to offer them in every subject. We want to strengthen vocational education so we will look carefully at how these qualifications are viewed by employers and universities.

There advice for parents and young people available.

After your A level results

Joint Council for Qualifications: National Results

UCAS - Student advice line

The Coalition: Our programme for Government

Notes to editors

  1. All A level, AS level and Advanced Diploma results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland can be viewed at the Joint Council for Qualifications website.
  2. The Exams Results Helpline, funded by the Department for Education, provides free, on-the-spot information and advice to GCSE and A level students who do not receive the results they expect. Call 0808 100 8000 from 18th to 28th August. For more information see the UCAS website.
  3. The Coalition: Our Programme for Government published on 20th May 2010 pledges:
    • We will publish performance data on educational providers, as well as past exam papers.
    • We will create more flexibility in the exams systems so that state schools can offer qualifications like the iGCSE.
    • We will reform league tables so that schools are able to focus on, and demonstrate, the progress of children of all abilities.
    • We will improve the quality of vocational education, including increasing flexibility for 14-19 year olds and creating new technical academies as part of our plans to diversify schools provision.
    • We will seek ways to support the creation of apprenticeships, internships, work pairings, and college and workplace training places as part of our wider programme to get Britain working.
  4. Diplomas

The first five Diplomas (engineering; IT; creative and media; construction and the built environment; society, health and development) have been taught in schools and colleges since September 2008. Five more Diplomas were introduced in September 2009 (hair and beauty studies; environment and land-based studies; hospitality; business, administration and finance; manufacturing and product design). The further four Diplomas will be first taught from September 2010 (travel and tourism; public services; retail business; sport and active leisure).
The Government announced on 7th June 2010 that development of ‘Phase 4’ (‘academic’) Diplomas in science, languages and humanities, due to be first taught from September 2011, would be stopped. See the press notice ‘Government announces changes to qualifications and the curriculum’ for more information.
The Government announced on 24th June 2010 that the development of Extended Diploma and entitlement to all Diploma lines of learning in all schools and colleges will be stopped. See the press notice ‘Gibb: Further freedoms for schools and colleges’.

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