Students have been given grades determined by teachers this year, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.
In total, 44.8 per cent of UK entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer – up by 6.3 per cent on last year when 38.5 per cent achieved the top grades.
Across the South East of England, schools did even better with 47.1 per cent achieving top marks.
In Kent and East Sussex, headteachers were congratulating pupils following ‘a very difficult two years’.
At Benenden School near Cranbrook, 83 per cent of pupils achieved A* or A – higher than last year’s 74 per cent.
An impressive 50 per cent of all grades were at the top A* grade and 64 per cent of the year group achieved nothing less than an A.
Benenden Headmistress Samantha Price said: “The students have thoroughly deserved these excellent grades. We always knew this was a strong year group who were likely to perform very well and pupils achieved the grades we would have expected.”
This system of awarding grades has been criticised for leading to higher grades across the country, but Mrs Price said that at Benenden the process had been ‘extremely robust’.
She added: “Our pupils went through a rigorous internal assessment process, which included judging each pupil on a selection of their coursework, class assessments and previous test performances in addition to sitting formal assessments in the spring and summer to gauge the level students were currently performing at.”
At Claremont Senior School in Robertsbridge, students were celebrating the most successful A Level & BTEC results in the school’s history.
Ed Dickie, Headmaster, said: “Some cynics might point to national grade inflation and the impact of teacher assessed grades on results, but our Year 13 students have far exceeded expectations across the board.
“We have a very diverse student body at Claremont yet success has come in all areas of the curriculum, from the Sciences and Humanities to creative subjects such as Photography and Drama. Claremont’s core aim is to ensure that our young people achieve and exceed their potential, regardless of academic ability, and these results have certainly delivered on that promise across a very wide range of subjects.”
A number of schools, however, did not publicly publish their A-Level results this year. But heads have said the results were similar to previous years.
At Kent College in Pembury, Headmistress Ms Julie Lodrick said: “Despite the immense pressure and extraordinary circumstances facing our Sixth Form students this year, we are very proud of their hard work and determination to perform at their very best.
“It is testament to the professionalism of our teaching staff that the grades awarded at Kent College were a true reflection of the ability and potential of our Sixth Form students, which have enabled them to secure their chosen university place.”
Cara Hoper at Beacon Academy in Crowborough added: “Our Year 13 cohort have been rewarded with a particularly strong set of grades, which will enable them to progress on to some very impressive and fully deserved futures.”