The proportion of A-level grades at grade A and above has seen a rise at private schools this year more than double any type of state school, Ofqual data reveals.
It shows that the percentage of A levels scoring an A or A* rose by 4.7 percentage points in independent schools this year, from 43.9 per cent in 2019 to 48.6 per cent in 2020.
This rise is more than double that of any seen in the state sector. In comprehensives, the proportion of pupils achieving the top grade rose by 2 pp, in academies by 1.7 pp, and in grammars by 1.2 pp.
A levels 2020:
- Record percentage get top A* grade
- Science entries in decline
- Maths and English show signs of recovery
Carl Cullinane, a researcher at social mobility charity The Sutton Trust, said the data was "eyebrow-raising".
He said the disproportionate increase in top grades at private schools could either relate to their "generally higher rate of As in the first place" or because their smaller class sizes helped them escape the statistical moderation process.
Subjects with entry numbers of 15 pupils or lower had teacher-assessed grades taken into account in the grading calculation, while subjects with entries of 5 pupils or fewer were allowed to keep their teacher-assessed grades.
However, not all private school pupils felt the rise applied to their school. Student Ben Robson commented: "I go to a private school and we’ve been absolutely destroyed by this, 50 per cent of our A* students have been downgraded and 20 per cent of our As have been downgraded, 60 per cent of our student body has been taken down one or two even three grades."
The figures only relate to schools with A-level candidates in 2018, 2019 and 2020.