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Are A-levels a pathway to better careers?

Teenagers were today finding out whether they had made the grade in their A-levels, amid record pressure on university places.

The Hartlepool and east Durham students picked up what are expected to be the region’s best ever results ahead of the last academic year before tuition fees rise.

Hartlepool Sixth Form College’s A-level pass rate of 99.6 per cent showed continuing success for students that have achieved an average pass rate of 99.5 per cent over the past seven years.

The results included 52 A* grades, 24 of which were achieved in maths and further maths, and principal Rick Wells said pressure was on students to achieve the top mark more than ever.