A LEVEL students in Brighton and Hove have outperformed teenagers across the country – in the same year new harder exams were introduced.

Students from the city celebrated receiving their results as thousands of pupils across the country went through the joy, tears and sheer relief of results day.

The city’s cohort of students exceeded the national average by nearly six percentage points with 58.8 per cent achieving A* to B grades against a national average of 52.9 per cent.

It comes as students sat new more demanding A-levels graded solely on one exam at the end of two years of study instead of taking modular exams throughout the course

City councillor Dan Chapman said the performance was especially good considering the changes.

Cllr Chapman, chair of the city council’s children and young people committee, said: “These results are particularly good news given the changes taking place nationally.

“Our students may have been feeling anxious but they have come through with flying colours.

“But today is not just about A-levels.

“More and more of our young people are seeing the value of the high quality vocational courses and apprenticeships.

“I’m every bit as thrilled with the success stories we’ve seen in these areas as well.

“We will continue to work closely with our schools, colleges and training providers to bring about further improvements in future.”

Overall the pass rate A* to E in Brighton and Hove was 97.9 per cent, in line with the national average which fell 0.2 percentage points.

Top performers includes Syrian refugees and Brighton College scholars Sulaiman Wihba, who earned four A*s, and Elias Badin who achieved one A* and three As. They will now study medicine at Queen Mary’s, London.

But some students told how the new exams were more stressful.

Hove Park School’s Hadi Girgis, 19, who will study architecture at Bristol, described how the new exams he sat in design and economics stressed him out.

He said: “With the old-style exam I sat we had more past papers and I sat the exams over two years. But with the new style we had to cram two years of study in one exam which was a bigger workload and hard to manage.”

Headteachers across the city also felt the strain of the changes.

BHASVIC principal William Baldwin said: “Two years were boiled down into two or three hour exam papers.

“It is our job to ensure over those two years we get students to a place where they peak at the right time.

“They are put under a lot of pressure.

“One of the frustrations with the linear framework is that it is hard for both parents and students to navigate and know what to expect from each subject.”

The changes mean AS-level results no longer count towards A-level grades.

Former education secretary Michael Gove brought in the changes with the intention of making them harder, and ensuring students spend less time revising for exams and more time learning the subject.


SCHOOLS across the county celebrated fantastic results and the achievements of their top-performing students.

Nine Roedean scholars, who were given places in the sixth form after studying at local state schools, all achieved A* to B grades.

Portslade Aldridge Community Academy’s Clarice Genova achieved ABBC in Italian, chemistry, maths and physics.

Alex Luff, of Sir Robert Woodward Academy in Lancing, secured a place at the University of Sussex to read American studies.

Lancing College’s Henry Steele, from Hove, is going to Oxford to study mathematics after bagging A*s in mathematics, further maths, additional further mathematics, as well as an A grade in physics.

This year the college is celebrating a stellar performance with 75.4 per cent of grades at A* to B.

Burgess Hill Girl’s Alice Beaumont will read chemistry at Durham after landing A*s in chemistry, maths and physics and an A in French AS.

Hailsham Community College’s Mary Adeniji is moving on to study medicine at Cambridge University with her three A* grades.

Ardingly College is celebrating all of its students securing university places with 88 per cent of grades A* to B.

Record-breaking schools include St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill where 70 per cent of students gained A* to B grades and 42 per cent of all grades being graded A* or A.

Seaford College secured a record number of places at Russell Group and first choice universities.

Chichester College student Oliver Martello achieved three A* grades in maths, further maths and physics and is going on to study maths at Warwick University.

Eastbourne student Elysa Piccinini passed all four of her A-level exams with an A in Italian, B in law and sociology and a C in geography.

Elysa is going to Royal Holloway, University of London, to study sociology and criminology.

Christ’s Hospital’s Temi Adeyemi opened her results to find he had an astonishing four A*s and one A. She is now preparing to study natural sciences at Cambridge University.

But it wasn’t only A-level students celebrating; many were picking up grades for vocational and technical qualifications.

UTC Harbourside’s head boy Kyle Brackenfield scored a distinction in in engineering and an A grade in electronics.

He will now go on to the apprenticeship he secured with CNC Engineering.


BOYS emerged as the winners in this summer’s results, pulling ahead of girls in terms of A*-A grades for the first time in almost two decades.

The results come as early data shows a two per cent drop in the number of students accepted on to UK degree courses for this autumn, compared to the same time last year.

Despite the fall, the number of students gaining university places on A-level day is still the second-highest number recorded, with 416,310 people accepted, the university admissions service said.

University clearing phones have been ringing non-stop.

A University of Brighton spokesman said: “Our phone lines have been very busy all day and we have handled around 50 per cent more calls than at the same time last year.

“We are not seeing any evidence that the new A-levels have had an impact on potential admissions.”

National figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show more than one in four (26.3 per cent) A-level entries scored an A* or A this summer, up 0.5 percentage points on 2016.

It is the first time the A*-A pass rate has risen since 2011.

While the A*-A pass-rate has risen, there has been a drop in top results among the first 13 subjects to be overhauled in England, statistics from the Joint Council of Qualifications show.

The 13 reformed subjects are art and design, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, English language, English language and literature, English literature, history, physics, psychology and sociology.