PASS rates for A-levels slightly increased this year despite widespread outcry about grades.

Brighton and Hove City Council said 98.6 per cent of grades issued in the city were A* to E, up a tenth of a percentage point from last year.

City education chief Councillor Hannah Clare congratulated Brighton’s students for “success in the face of adversity”.

But the Green councillor also said she was “shocked and disappointed” about how exam results had been handled by the Government.

>>GALLERY: Sussex students' reactions to A-Level results day

“After all our A-level and vocational students have been through in recent months, I want to celebrate all their successes today and wish them the very best for the future,” Cllr Clare said.

“We should not under-estimate the extra stress and anxiety the coronavirus restrictions have caused our students, but I think it’s been particularly difficult for those taking A-levels and GCSEs.

“I also need to express my shock and disappointment at the chaotic way the Government has handled the processing and announcement of this year’s results.

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Brighton and Hove's A-Level pass rate increased slightly

“I am also very disturbed by the injustice some of our excellent schools and colleges have faced with arbitrary downgrades and an unfair system.

“Our young people and their families deserve far better than this. I want all our young people to get the results that are a true reflection of their abilities and the work they have put in.”

Cllr Clare urged students unhappy with their results to keep an eye on soon-to-be-published Government guidance on how to appeal.

“I’m concerned the current chaos could also affect the arrangements many of our young people have put in place for going on to university, apprenticeships or finding work,” she said.

“There is a wide range of vocational courses available in the city for young people who do not wish to go to university.

“Apprenticeships offer opportunities to earn while you learn and get a strong foothold on the career ladder.”