Yousuf is a 12-year-old Norfolk A-level prodigy

A Norfolk 12-year-old has become one of the youngest people in the country to get the top A* grade in A-level maths.

Child prodigy Yousuf bin-Suhayl was among thousands of nervous young people picking up their results across the region yesterday.

And the extraordinary youngster, from Marshland St James, near Wisbech, had every reason to be overjoyed as he added the A* to an A* maths GCSE that he got in 2008.

He hit the heights this year after re-sitting a module of the exam because he felt last year's B grade was below par.

His proud father Sohale Rahman said: 'It is a lot of hard work, but the most amazing thing is that he did it all himself.'

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The remarkable performance came as students across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire celebrated or commiserated with one another after arguably the most nerve-racking day of their lives.

With a record number of young people expected to miss out on university because of an unprecedented rush for places ahead of increased fees in 2012, thousands of the region's 18-year-olds will be weighing up their next move today.

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In Norfolk, the A-level average points score per pupil for state schools and academies dropped from 764 to 763. Suffolk and Cambridgeshire did not release their average points score per pupil, although Suffolk County Council said its results were likely to be the 'best ever'.

Overall, the pass rate rose for the 29th year in a row, with 97.8pc of entries receiving at least an E grade – up 0.2pc from 97.6pc last summer.

The results, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) yesterday, showed the number of A* grades rose to 8.2pc, up slightly from 8.1pc last year.

Back in West Norfolk, Yousuf's nine-year old brother Ibraheem is keeping up the family tradition and is waiting for his GCSE maths result next week.

The boys are taught at home and both are way ahead of their age group.

Yousuf scored a perfect 100pc in one of the six modules required for his A-level and is hoping to study advanced further pure maths to continue his achievements in the subject.

The brothers are also keen chess players and Ibraheem is Norfolk's under-nine champion while Yousuf plays for the county.

Yousuf was helped by expert tuition from Wisbech Grammar School which allowed him to sit in with their A-level classes at no charge.

Mr Rahman said: 'The school has been very helpful and gracious in allowing Yousuf to attend. He didn't go to all the lessons and worked very hard at home to improve his grade.'

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