Andy Burnham
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Burnham: 'We need to raise status of the non-university route'

A-level passes have risen for the 29th year in a row as teenagers face an intense battle for university places.

The overall pass rate is up slightly, but for the first time in 15 years there has been no increase in the total proportion getting A or A* grades.

Those who miss out on a university place this year could face tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year.

The shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said a university education was "good preparation" but he also said it was now time to "raise the status of apprenticeships and vocational training" to help those who chose not to go to university.

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