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  1. ITV Report

More pupils miss out on top GCSE grades

Results at Rhyl High School have been described as "fantastic" by headteacher Claire Armistead. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

GCSE figures released show that the number of students in Wales getting A* - C grades has fallen by just over one per cent to 65.4 per cent. Overall, the pass rate for pupils in Wales remained the same two years in a row, standing at 98.7 per cent.

There was also a drop in the number of pupils attaining A* - C grades in the UK (down 0.4 per cent to 69.4 per cent). The gap between Wales and the UK grows by 0.7 per cent.

The pupils gaining an A* or A in a subject also dropped by 0.3 per cent to 19.2 per cent, with the number of those achieving an A also falling.

Students across Wales... deserve our congratulations as they take this significant step on their learning journey.

– Leighton Andrews, Education Minister

The gender gap between girls and boys remained roughly the same with 61.3 per cent of boys getting A* - C grade compared with 69.4 per cent of girls.

Thousands of teenagers across Wales will be collecting their GCSE results on Thursday, putting to an end several months of anxious waiting, and bookending several years of studying for the qualifications.

ITV Wales is speaking to pupils and teachers at schools here, seeing their disappointment and delight when the envelopes are opened, and asking what they will be doing next.

While every year we hear numerous voices undermining the grades that have been achieved, we should not underestimate exactly how much dedication has gone into achieving good standards against a difficult backdrop.

– David Evans, NUT Cymru Secretary

What next?

For a great number of pupils, the results they receive today will determine what it is they do next.

According to Careers Wales's the majority of GCSE-finishers continue to study, while the next option popular among five per cent of those students is work-based training. A slightly smaller number that responded to Careers Wales's survey were not in education, training or employment (NEET'>Pupil Destinations Report.While continuing to study is the most popular option for GCSE-finishers, the next largest group - around 5% - went into work-based training, while a slightly smaller number that responded to Careers Wales), 85% of last year).

Rosemary Allen, from Careers Wales, says the most important thing for pupils, and their parents, is not to panic when receiving results, and take time to weigh up the options.

Baccalaureates

Figures released today also show that the number of people who attained a Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma at intermediate level stood at nearly four thousand, with those achieving the full qualification increasing by six per cent from 67 per cent to 73 per cent.

At foundation level the percentage of pupils who achieved a full diploma, however, dropped by two per cent to 64 per cent.

More students than ever have earned a Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification in addition to their other achievements, it continues to establish itself as a key feature of 14-19 learning in Wales and is a valued qualification.

– Leighton Andrews, Education Minister

Joanna Simpson reports.

Are you - or a member of your family - getting GCSE results today? Let us know whether it has been disappointment or delight, and what is next for you: