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A-level results: Southwark students achieve above the national average

18 August 2023

Early results from Southwark’s schools show that the borough’s students have achieved a set of fantastic A-level results, exceeding national figures by between 0.9 to 7.7 percentage points across the various grade ranges.

In England, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) said this year’s national A-level results would be lower than last year.

Without the adjustments made for the pandemic-related disruption to education, A-level grades awarded to students in England have seen their biggest drop ever. While Southwark mirrors the national trend (with the largest drop being the number of exam entries being awarded top grades of A*-A by a decrease of 10.7 percentage points from 2022), the borough’s results continue to exceed this year’s national results across all indicators. 

Southwark’s results are up from 2019 – the year before the pandemic when exam conditions were similar – including a 3.6 percentage point increase in Southwark exam entries being awarded the top grades of A*-A (from 25.1 per cent in 2019 to 28.7 per cent this year). There was a larger increase (8.9 percentage points) in the number of exam entries being awarded an A*-B grade: from 51.1 per cent in 2019 to 60 per cent this year. Exam entries being awarded A*-C also increased by 3.8 percentage points: from 77.1 per cent in 2019 up to 80.9 per cent this year.

Among those celebrating, the borough’s children in care and care leavers have achieved phenomenal results. They achieved straight A’s, B’s, ABC’s, Distinctions and Merits, with one student achieving AAA* to meet and accept their offer from St Hugh’s College, Oxford University. At least eight students received offers from their first choice universities (with two more awaiting their results). Ten students successfully progressed onto their choice of further education, including one female student starting a higher apprenticeship with McGee Engineering, an industry where women are hugely underrepresented.

Cllr Jasmine Ali, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “As corporate parents, we couldn’t be any prouder of what children in our care have achieved. Their success is inspirational, setting them up for further success as they fulfil their ambitions. I’d like to thank their exceptional teachers who have been such powerful champions for children in care and care leavers. Your work with our young people has been nothing short of transformational.” 

Students receiving their A-level results yesterday did not take GCSE exams and were awarded results determined by their teachers in 2021.

Cllr Jasmine Ali said: “Congratulations to all our A-level students! You have defied the odds in unprecedented circumstances with all your hard work and support from teachers. This summer would have been the first time you sat exams after all the upheaval you suffered during the pandemic. You should be so proud of what you have achieved as we return to pre-pandemic grading this year.

“For some of you, the fall in top grades we are seeing nationally will mean disappointment. But this has nothing to do with your effort and commitment. We are here to make sure you are supported into whatever future you have within your sight. Whether that’s further education, training or work, we can link you with local opportunities and support to help you fulfil your ambitions and potential.”

Join Southwark Council’s mailing list to receive news on job vacancies and career information in and around Southwark. For more information, visit 

If you’re worried about your results or next steps, help is available:

  • For more information about mental health support in Southwark for children and young people, call free on 020 8138 1805 or visit
  • The National Careers Service (NCS)  is a high-quality, free, and impartial careers information advice and guidance service. They provide help with planning the next steps following A-level, T-level, or Vocational and Technical qualifications results. Students can contact them on 0800 100 900 or use webchat to speak to an adviser. Their website is
  • One Hub Southwark has links to different career advice you can access nationally, and locally in Southwark. This includes sector-specific (e.g. construction) guidance. They can be found at
  • UCAS has a helpful website with tips and guidance on what to do on results day, as well as information on alternatives to university such as apprenticeships. See A level results day ( for more information.


Page last updated: 18 August 2023

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