This week, A level exam grades are again big news in the UK. For the second year, special measures have led to exam grades for students who are finishing school and heading to university or straight into the world of work being awarded by new provisions due to Covid, where studying and the usual exams themselves have not operated in any sort of normal way.

This year’s statistics for England based students taking ‘A levels’ paints a dramatic picture. A smooth and gradual increasing trend over the last two decades is followed by a sharp uplift in the percentage of students getting top grades for the last two years with this year showing its own further ju