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High grades put North-East teenagers in the forefront of A-level success
NORTH-EAST A-level results have bucked the national trend by showing an increase in the proportion of students scoring top grades.
Analysis of more than 300,000 results showed that across England the proportion of A-levels awarded an A or A* fell for the second year in a row.
But students from the North-East and Yorkshire actually saw an increase in the proportion of grades at A or better.
The news was hailed as a "real positive" for the region last night (Thursday, August 15), and came amid many inspiring stories of individual achievement.
Northallerton College student, Tom Rogers, 18, overcame a lifelong disability caused by cerebral palsy to achieve two A*s and two A grades in applied ICT, English and psychology.
He said he was "absolutely elated" with his results.
Twins, Hannah and Jessica Holmes, 18, both achieved three A* grades at Stockton Riverside College Bede Sixth Form and will study geography at Durham University.
Cystic fibrosis sufferer, Jodie Mitchell, 18, from Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, scored the results which won a place on the colleges' art foundation course.
And 18-year-old Ugne Dudzeviciute achieved an A* in chemistry and As in physics, biology and maths at The King's Academy in Middlesbrough, only two years after arriving from Lithuania with limited English.
She won a place to read physics at Durham University.
The overall analysis of the figures showed that while the North-East is starting from the lowest base, the region saw a 0.4 per cent improvement in the number of candidates coming out with an A or A* this summer.
Only Yorkshire and the Humber - which saw a 0.5 per cent improvement - fared better.
Between 2002 and 2012 the North-East has also seen the largest rate of improvement in England in terms of the proportion of candidates passing an A-level at E grade or above.
Beccy Earnshaw, director of Schools North-East, which represents schools in the region, said: "The fact that we have got the highest rate of improvement is a real positive."
Ms Earnshaw said it was also good news that there had been an increase in students taking science, technology and maths.
"These are the sort of skills our regional economy is crying out for," she said.
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