OXFORDSHIRE's star pupils bucked the national trend yesterday and scored top A-Level grades.

Early indications suggested the proportion of A* and A grades in the county was set to rise to 35 per cent, about two percentage points higher than last year.

Nationally 26 per cent of entries were awarded the top two grades, meaning Oxfordshire has outstripped the country average by nine percentage points.

A number of schools, including Cheney School and Oxford Spires Academy, recorded their best ever results.

There had been fears new content in AS and A-Levels would lead to grades dipping, but Oxford Spires principal Sue Croft said pupils and staff had worked hard to stop this having an impact.

She said: "It is an upwards trajectory here every year.

"Our teachers are so resilient and hard working and so well organised and motivated to make a difference.

"They have got great leadership.

"It has gone brilliantly, especially at the top end.

"It has taken a while for students to see the straight A*s and that is very important because it is where belief comes from."

It also appeared about 95 per cent of students had gained two or more A-Levels at the A* to E pass rate, roughly in line with the 2015 figure.

Oxford Spires Academy will send pupils to Oxbridge universities for the first time and three pupils from Faringdon Community College will join then.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley said: "Congratulations to all students receiving their A-Level results.

"As always there are some outstanding individual success stories which deserve to be highlighted, but results day is a huge milestone for thousands of young people who have put in years of hard work.

"The efforts of our dedicated teaching staff, and the support of individual families for their children should also be celebrated."

Record numbers of students from Oxfordshire and other parts of the country had been given places at university yesterday morning and more will follow through the clearing process.

The increase saw 424,000 students awarded university places, including 307,000 from England.

UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said: "It was a big day for hundreds of thousands of young people who have chosen to kick start their adult life with higher education – well done to all of them.

"I’m particularly pleased to see the first small signs of improvement for young men, although they are still too far behind."

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said it was delighted with good results but still had fears over the future of modern languages.

ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "We congratulate students and teachers on their hard work this year and hope that those receiving their results today get what they are hoping for.

"It is good to hear that so many students will have the chance to go to university or onto an apprenticeship, if this is what they want to do.

"We’re pleased that the new revised marking system for modern foreign languages has led to more students getting A* grades for French, German and Spanish at A-level.

"However, it is disappointing that entries for these subjects continues to decline and we fear this will continue to be the case because fewer language teachers are being recruited."