RGS Guildford courtyard with students

A Level Results – The Headmaster’s Comment


“I am absolutely delighted for our talented Class of 2023 students who have not only contributed so much to the life of the School but who have also achieved an outstanding set of A Level results.  The most common grade achieved by RGS students was the A* grade; 81 students achieved a clean sweep of grades at A or A*, 37 of those achieved 3 or more A* grades: an incredible achievement in the current climate.  It was the individual stories of the day, however, which brought me equal pleasure: students for whom there have been personal challenges during their Sixth Form experience who have displayed such resilience and determination to achieve results of which they should be rightly proud.  For each student, fulfilling their own potential in a supportive environment remains our absolute focus, irrespective of the final grade.

As I reflect on this year group, I could not be more impressed by the way our Class of 2023 have conducted themselves.  Sitting high-stakes A Level examinations, having never before experienced formal public examinations due to the pandemic and faced by daunting media coverage in the run-up to the results, placed real demands and stress on our students.   As the Government has attempted to stop grade inflation and bring results back to pre-pandemic levels, this year has been all the more challenging.  In the last few days, the media has simply fuelled this angst:

“Why this year’s A Level students are the ‘unluckiest’ in years.The Telegraph

“Record A Level grade drop could mean thousands miss out on university place.”  The Telegraph

“Thursday will hurt for many, but A Levels need to be reset.”  The Sunday Times

 “Nearly 100,000 fewer top A Levels this year in grading plan, research suggests.”  The Guardian

 “Harsh post-Covid grade markdown set to hit A Level students.”  The Guardian

Our students have responded stoically and resolutely to each and every challenge.  Their hard work, dedication and scholarship have been tested to the full and they have emerged with results – and a work ethic, passion for learning, and range of skills including our Learning Habits – of which they can be rightly proud and which will set them up for the next phase of their education.

In terms of university entrance, of those boys holding conditional offers to study at UK universities, the vast majority secured their firm or insurance places on the most competitive courses at the leading institutions in the country, predominantly at their first-choice institution.  This is all the more impressive as well over 90% of the firm offers made were to one of The Times Top 20 ranked universities with Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter and Oxford continuing to be the most popular destinations for our students.  The Class of 2023 can now harbour the most ambitious aspirations and I look forward to following their progress with interest and excitement.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the phenomenal professionalism, inspiration and dedication of all the RGS staff who have done so much to prepare, support and reassure this particular year group.  I am immensely proud of the spirit and sense of community at the RGS which allows our students to continue to excel and flourish.”