Students who received their A-level results should consider non-university routes to a good career.
The Institute for Learning said today’s results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed that A-level teachers “have yet again demonstrated their strong commitment to helping their learners achieve excellent results”.
335,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland got their A and AS-level results this morning.
26.6% of A-level entries achieved the top two grades of A* and A - down from 27% last year. It is the first time in 20 years that there has been a drop in top marks.
The overall pass mark increased for the 30th consecutive year to 97.8%.
IfL policy officer Shane Chowen said:
“Going straight to university may seem the obvious choice, but is not the only gateway to success.
“Many young people are surprised to learn that a growing number of professions recognise, or even favour, alternative routes and welcome A-level entrants and apprentices, as well as those with foundation degrees and degrees.
“Moving into higher education in a further education college or gaining experience and qualifications through an apprenticeship are excellent options, as thousands of people who have successfully navigated these routes can testify.
“Indeed, many people have achieved success in business and industry by combining employment with part-time study, or even taking up full-time higher education slightly later.
“Learning is lifelong and studying at A-level, whatever the resulting grades, is valuable in its own right and as a step towards future learning.”
IfL said it is consulting members about Ofqual’s proposed reforms to A levels, such as the removal of AS levels, restrictions on resits and the removal of January exams, and is considering the impact this may have for adult learners as well as for young people.