Private schools saw a dip in top A-level results this year, largely reflecting national trends, figures released by the sector suggest.
The proportion of private school A-level entries gaining grade A or better was 48.7%, down from 49.3% last year, says the Independent Schools Council.
This is still almost twice the national average of 25.8%, itself down slightly from 25.9% in 2015, says the ISC.
Council chairman Barnaby Lenon called the figures encouraging.
Overall, the 2016 A-level grades, published earlier this month, showed a marginal fall in top grades for the fifth successive year – but the Joint Council for qualifications described outcomes as relatively unchanged.
The ISC figures, for 495 UK independent schools offering A-levels, reflect the results of 36,992 candidates and suggest:
- 17.9% of pupils achieved at least one A*, down 0.6 percentage points, but more than double the national average of 8.1% (itself down 0.1% on 2015)
- 6.8% got at least three A* grades, down from 7% in 2015
- 55.5% got ABB – unchanged on 2015
Overall the pass rate for private school A-level students was 99.1% – one percentage point better than the national average, says the ISC.
And three-quarters (75.2%) of grades were B or higher, it adds, compared with 52.9% nationally
According to the ISC, more private schools are choosing to offer the International Baccalaureate, with the number rising by 5% on last year.
The ISC says the figures show academic success is still a “top priority” at independent schools, with a strong focus on good grades in the subjects preferred by the most selective universities.
“A concerted effort to halt grade inflation in recent years has seen the top grades both nationally and in independent schools level off and fall slightly, so it is encouraging to see the headline A* and A figure remain solid,” said Mr Lenon.
“Of particular note is the number of students achieving ABB grades, which will see many of them moving on to the university of his or her choice, a high number to the top institutions.”