ANXIOUS students will discover tomorrow whether they have achieved the A Level grades they are hoping for, amid warnings the number of top grades could fall.
Schools and colleges across the region will see wild celebrations and probably some commiserations tomorrow as thousands of teenagers receive their A Level results.
For many hoping to secure a university place, the results are all-important.
But there is speculation results could drop slightly, with fewer top grades being handed out.
The new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has already said it is not important to see numbers rise to achieve overall improvements to the education system. She said pupils had previously been drilled to pass exams or shifted onto low-grade qualifications by schools looking to boost their league table positions.
But Chris Keates, general secretary of teachers' union NASUWT, said: “Much of the speculation ahead of the publication of this year's A-level results has focused on a predicted fall in the number of top grades being awarded, amid claims that this is the result of a 'toughing up' on exams by the Coalition Government.
“The reality is that the bulk of the Government's reforms to A-levels have not yet been implemented and so will have had no impact on this year's results.
“Furthermore, awarding bodies have indicated that any fall in top grades, if one does occur, is likely to be very small and that, overall, A-level results are likely to be broadly in line with recent years.
“Teachers should be commended for their hard work to ensure that standards have been maintained despite the assault on teachers' working conditions and the cuts to budgets in the post-16 sector, which have had a significant impact on the staffing levels and resources available in schools and colleges.
“Young people have continued to excel despite the Government's removal of financial support for the most disadvantaged students and its cuts to the system of independent careers advice and guidance.
“The fact is that tomorrow's results will have been achieved despite the Government's reforms, not because of them.”
The Daily Echo will be at schools and colleges across the region tomorrow, speaking to students as they pick up their results. Full coverage will be on our website tomorrow, in Friday's paper and in a special 16-page picture supplement in Saturday's paper.