Photo Gallery: Dereham Sixth Form College students maintain A-level success

Dereham A-level students have been celebrating continued success as they received their exam results and heard about university placements this morning.

Dereham Sixth Form College reported a 83pc pass rate at grades A*-C, and a 100pc pass rate at grades A*-E.

Tom Voutt, who gained one A* and three grade As, said he was in a state of shock after opening his envelope this morning.

He said: 'I really did not know how the exams went so I was just hoping for the best. It took a while for it to sink in. I was just so happy. My mum was over the moon.'

He is currently organising work placements for his gap year to gain experience in chemical engineering.

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Sam Tullock said the introduction of tuition fees was a factor in his decision to start an apprenticeship at Alan Boswell insurance brokers in Norwich rather than going to university.

He received a grade B and two Cs, and said: 'I was considering going to university but I thought if I get a job I would get that much [money] rather than paying off debts, but it was not the deciding factor but it did sway my thinking a bit.'

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Gemma Carson said her parents were 'really happy' with her two A* grades and one C which will allow her to study fine art at Bath Spa University.

Oliver Town will study graphics at Bristol University following his two A* grades and one B, but unlike many students who were busily phoning or texting their parents said he would wait to tell them when he got home.

Phyllis O'Grady, director Dereham Sixth Form College, said the college had maintained its record of about 80pc of students applying to go to university, despite the introduction of higher fees, and the majority of them have secured places.

She said: 'I think they have done really well. They matched last year's and kept up the very high standards that Dereham Sixth Form College has become known for.

'I see students working their socks off to get into the best university they can with no guarantee of a job so I take my hat off to them and how hard they worked in a really competitive environment.

'With the fees rising students are becoming a lot more discerning about the kind of degree they are doing and where they go and whether they can match that with working and looking at armed forces or working. There's a lot more exploration of those options.'

She added that the proportion of students continuing their education in Norfolk was rising, while others were planning degrees with the Open University.

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