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Provisional A-level results 2018 indicate record performance across Island schools


The 2018 A-level results in the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s (DESC) five secondary schools once again reflect a record standard of achievement for pupils.

There has been a considerable increase in the percentage of pupils gaining the higher grades of A*-B when compared with all previous years. The overall pass rate (A*-E) of 98.4% is also up on last year.

As only a very small minority of pupils took AS levels, these are not included in the Department’s overall analysis.

In DESC’s five secondary schools, around 350 Year 13 pupils were entered for around 1,000 A-levels in nearly 50 subjects.

Some of the key details from the results analysed today are as follows:

  • The percentage of passes at the higher grades of A*-B was 51.1%, an increase of 5% on last year and the highest since recent records began in 2010
  • 7.3% of Island pupils achieved the A* grade, in line with last year and the higher than most previous years
  • The Island’s overall A-level pass rate (A*-E) was 98.4%, this is up on last year and broadly in line with previous years
  • Through continuing sixth form collaboration across secondary schools, the breadth of subjects available has remained wide, with new subjects such as Global Perspectives and Business Enterprise on offer to pupils across the Island
  • Performance was particularly high in Business Studies, Music, and Psychology.
  • It is expected that around 70% of pupils will take up places at university, with around 25% entering full time employment or pursuing apprenticeship or internship in different sectors on the Island
  • A-levels have undergone significant changes in recent years with most qualifications moving from consisting of part coursework and part examined components to full examined linear courses. This has presented particular challenges for staff and pupils.

Across the Island, individual pupils have achieved outstanding results, with several pupils recording up to four grade A* and A passes.

Joel Smith, School Improvement Adviser with DESC (ABOVE), said: “All five secondary schools have been in contact today, and their feedback is very encouraging. The vast majority of pupils have received positive outcomes, and have been able to pursue their chosen pathway or destination in education, employment or training.

“Results today reflect the continued strength of the Island’s education system in terms of academic outcomes, broad curriculum offer, and life choices for young people.”

Headteachers have remarked on the high attainment and excellent achievement of particular pupils.

One pupil at Ramsey Grammar School achieved four A*s and will attend the University of St Andrews to study a Masters in Mathematics. Another pupil who has overcome significant personal hardship during this year and has achieved two As and one B grade.

A Ballakermeen pupil who arrived on the Island a few years ago unable to speak any English has attained A and B grades, one of which was in English Literature. Much must go down to individual determination and being guided effectively by the school’s teachers and learning support team.

Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, was very pleased with the overall results. He said: “I would like to congratulate all pupils receiving results today. A-level outcomes are extremely important for the future of the Isle of Man. They represent a great deal of effort and commitment on the part of pupils and staff, as well as considerable support from parents.

“I’d like to thank teaching and support staff for their hard work as enablers for young people, and for coming into school to offer advice and guidance to pupils today.

“For all decisions pupils choose to take, whether that’s taking up university and college places or entering the employment sector, I wish them every success in their continuing lifelong learning.”

It should be noted that these results for the Isle of Man are provisional and not directly comparable with the results published in other parts of the UK. The initial results from England, Wales and Northern Ireland relate to all entrants and include mature pupils and pupils in colleges and independent schools, whereas the Isle of Man data relates solely to 18 year olds in DESC’s five secondary schools.

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