AFTER countless hours of solid revision mixed with exam panic, the opening of the all important envelope on results day is an anxious moment for teenagers up and down the country.

Thousands of 18 year olds found out last week whether they had achieved the A-level grades they needed for whatever career path they wanted to follow.

But the figure which dominated the national headlines was that, according to research from the Joint Council for Qualifications, the number of students awarded the top grades of A* or A had fallen to the lowest level since 2007.

Students in the North-East bucked that trend as it was the only region in the UK to see an increase in students gaining the top marks, with 23 per cent an increase of 0.3 per cent on 2018.

There was delight across Northumberland as most schools in the county posted better results than they did last year, with more students achieving higher grades allowing them to go on to their first choice university, apprenticeships or employment.

The troubles at Haydon Bridge High School have been well-documented in years gone by, but the school was rejoicing after a marked improvement in the average grade for each A-level entry.

Headteacher Darren Glover said: “We are delighted for the students who have put in all the hard work over the last two years, and are reaping the benefits as they go on to the next stage in their lives.

“2019 has been another great year for students taking academic and vocational courses in our sixth form; as an inclusive school we have been able to offer courses to a wide range of students of differing abilities.”

At Queen Elizabeth High School, in Hexham, a total of 22 students achieved three or more A* or A grades to put it towards the top of the table for the best ranking exam results.

Replicating the results of 2018, 41 per cent of all entries were graded A*/A, which was significantly higher than the national figure. Head of school, James Andriot, said: “I continue to feel proud that our hard working sixth form students have achieved so well again this summer.

“I am also extremely grateful for the support of school staff and parents over the last two years in leading to our continued success.”

There was improvement at Prudhoe High School, too, with 24 per cent of its grades were at A/ A*.

Headteacher Annmarie Moore said: “Prudhoe Community High School has continued to offer a broad curriculum for students in the sixth form and the results reflect the hard work and commitment from the students, their families and the staff.”

At Ponteland High School, a total of 22 per cent of all entries achieved the top grades, which pleased headteacher Kieran McGrane.

He said: “It is testament to the strength across our curriculum offer that 17 individual subjects have achieved at least a third of their entries graded as A* to B.”

There were also celebrations across Northumberland College, which has centres in Hexham and Kirkley Hall, as students were celebrating success in their vocational qualifications, such as BTECs, which will aid their specialist careers.

Joanne McManus, the newly-appointed associate principal for Northumberland College, said: “I am delighted that these excellent results celebrate the end of an exciting academic year for the college as we embark on our vision to transform education across the region.”