A-level joy across the region

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Teenagers shed tears of joy - and despair - as they picked up their A-level results this morning.

Many North and East Yorkshire colleges have posted record results this year, with many students now heading to university.

At Scarborough Sixth Form College, the pass rate shot up to 98 per cent - with 55 per cent of entries achieving one of the top grades A*, A or B.

“These are brilliant results, and are a great credit to the hard work of our students,” said Principal Marcus Towse.

Staff and pupils at Beverley Joint Sixth Form are toasting improved results too, with a 99 per cent pass rate.

Half of those were either A*, A or B and Head teacher Sharon Japp said: “I’m really proud of the students who have worked hard and achieved really well.”

I have taught for 32 years and there is no doubt that exams have got tougher

Richard Bramley

Nationally the number of pupils achieving very top grades has failed this year, but across the East Riding, the council say colleges there have bucked the trend for the fourth year in a row.

Critics have again claimed exams are getting easier, but one North Yorkshire headteacher whose pupils achieved record results this year said that’s nonsense.

“I have been teaching for 32 years and there is no doubt that the exams have got tougher,” said Richard Bramley, head of Pickering’s Lady Lumley’s.

Elsewhere in Ryedale, Norton College posted record results with figures rising for the sixth year, while Rob Williams, head of Malton School, said: “We have had another very good year.”

In North Yorkshire, the proportion of A-level candidates gaining the highest A* and A fell for the fourth year running to 25.9 per cent compared with 26 per cent last year but the overall pass rate reversed last year’s trend with a slight rise.

But at Caedmon College, there weren’t many sad faces - with the college celebrating a 100 per cent pass rate for the first time ever.

And there was plenty to smile about in the Laffan household - after identical twins Catherine and Rebecca Laffan scooped six top grades between them.

Their proud mum Kay screamed down the phone when the sisters called her with the good news that they had got five A grades and an A* between them.

Catherine got As in English Literature, History and Maths and will go on to study accounting and finance at Leeds University while her sister, Rebecca is headed for Law at Newcastle University.

She scored As in History, Ethics and Philosophy and A* in Economics and Business.

Rebecca said: “Our parents were screaming and jumping up and down and we were like ‘mum stop’.

“It was nerve wracking. We were predicted As but didn’t expect to get them.”