BOLTON’S bright young things have celebrated another record breaking A-level year.

More students than ever have achieved the top grades — with Rivington and Blackrod High School and Canon Slade posting a perfect 100 per cent pass rate.

Teenagers achieving A* grades rose to 5.9 per cent and those achieving A* to B increased from 41.8 per cent to 43.3 per cent.

The overall pass rate was 98 per cent, slightly down on last year, but in line with the national average.

Bolton Council’s director of children’s and adult services, Margaret Asquith, said: “The number of A* grades achieved has improved on last year’s results at a greater rate than the national average, by 2.2 per cent, which is a reflection of the extremely hard work put in by everyone at the schools and colleges.

“We are immensely proud of our students’ achievements in Bolton and committed to helping all our young people succeed in life.”

Turton School Sixth Form smashed all previous records with 51 per cent of all grades being at A* to B, compared to 48 per cent last year. The overall pass rate was 99 per cent.

Director of sixth form, Pete Tiltman, said: “To achieve more than half of all grades at A*, A and B is a great achievement.”

As well as posting a perfect 100 per cent pass rate, 31 per cent of students at Canon Slade achieved A* and A grades in all subjects, a six per cent increase, and 85 per cent of of grades were at A* to C.

Headteacher Canon Philip Williamson said: “The students are to be congratulated on their wonderful achievements, which are a testimony to their intellectual abilities and inspirational commitment to succeed. Their results also testify to the dedicated work of all colleagues who have taught and supported them.”

At Rivington and Blackrod, more than a third of students gained the top grades.

Headteacher Tony Purcell said: “These results are a reflection of the hard work which has been put in by the students, and the care and support offered by their teachers and staff.”

Thornleigh Salesian College posted a 99.3 per cent pass rate with 48 per cent gaining the highest grades, compared to 37 per cent last year.

Headteacher Alison Burrowes said: ”This year’s results continue to build on the year on year improvements in all areas as we continue our relentless pursuit of excellence in all that we do.”

The percentage of top grades awarded at Bolton Sixth Form College continued to rise, at 40 per cent, an increase of five per cent. The pass rate was 97 per cent, down by one per cent. For vocational subjects it was 100 per cent.

Principal Steve Wetton said: “It is with great pleasure we are all able to celebrate these excellent results.”

Kearsley Academy posted a 98 per cent pass rate, down two per cent.

Head of sixth form, Richard Bottomley, said: “As a fast expanding sixth form we are delighted all the hard work of students and support of staff has turned out so brilliantly.”

Bolton St Catherine’s Academy pass rate was 96 per cent, down by three per cent.

Vice Principal Peter Duffy said: “We are very proud of their achievements.”

The battle of the sexes was won by the boys at Bolton School where the overall pass rate was 99.3 per cent — 0.1 per down on last year — compared to the girls’ 99.1 per cent.

Nearly 50 per cent of boys achieved A* or A grades, up from 46.2 per cent last year.

Headteacher Philip Britton said: “In a year when grade boundaries have tightened it is great to see more A* and A grades for the boys.”

In the girls’ division nearly half of the grades awarded were A* or A and 75.9 per cent of papers were A* to B.

Headmistress Sue Hincks said: “I would like to congratulate the girls on their success in their subjects and I am delighted so many of them are able to go to their first choice university next year.”

Nationally the figures were 98 per cent of exams scored at least an E, down by 0.1 percentage points, the first time it has fallen in 32 years. The proportion of A* grades rose to 8.2 per cent, up 0.6 percentage points.

The University of Bolton has set up an admission centre, where trained staff will man the phones and provide course information.

Open days are being held today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday, August 16) and Wednesday, September 3, from 9am to 3pm.

The admissions and clearing hotline is on 01204903030 and for more information visit

For other help in getting a university place through clearing call the UCAS exam results helpline on 0800 100 800.