Commenting on the A-level results in Northern Ireland, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Northern Ireland, said:
“Once again today’s results demonstrate the continuing hard work and dedication of our young people and teachers in sustaining high standards of exam success.
“These results are the culmination of an immense amount of effort by students and schools.
“Teachers in Northern Ireland have achieved these excellent results despite the constant threat of job loss, the burden of excessive workload, schools reorganisation and year-on-year budget cuts.
“Teachers and pupils should be congratulated for the success they have achieved.
“It is particularly heartening to see the increase in entries from female students in STEM subjects, given the long-standing gender gap in participation in these areas.
“More analysis needs to be undertaken to look at whether there are any deeper reasons other than natural fluctuation for the subjects which have had falling numbers of entries.
“The NASUWT has been concerned for some time about the impact which funding cuts may be having on subject choice and availability, particularly in creative subjects, and further scrutiny will be needed to ensure that young people are not being disadvantaged in terms of choice.”
Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, said:
“Young people in Northern Ireland face some of the biggest challenges in terms of youth unemployment and participation in further and higher education.
“Teachers are doing their utmost to ensure that all young people gain the skills and opportunities they need to realise their full potential.
“These results demonstrate they are doing that and they are helping their students maintain such a high performance in their exams.”