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Education Minister congratulates GCSE students

Education Minister Huw Lewis has this morning congratulated students on their strong performance in their GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results.

Credit: PA

The Minister specifically praised Wales’ strong performance at English, Maths and Welsh. This year’s GCSE results for students in Wales show an overall pass rate of 98.7%.

Results also show over 13,000 learners being awarded a Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma - a 4% increase compared to numbers in 2014.

This year’s GCSE results show another strong performance with over two thirds of our learners achieving at least A* -C. This is the result of hard work and sustained effort by both our learners and their teachers and I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone involved on this success.

I am particularly pleased we have seen such a strong performance at key subjects including English, Maths, Welsh and Science.

Our Welsh Baccalaureate performance is also cause for celebration and means that 13,000 plus learners now have an additional string to their bows and are equipped with skills and experiences that give them a definite edge in an increasingly competitive world.

I have no doubt that our focus on raising standards is delivering for learners in Wales and look forward to an even higher A*- C pass rate once the full year’s results are published later this year.

– Huw Lewis AM, Education Minister


Getting your GCSE results? Let us know how you get on

Thousands of students across Wales will be collecting their GCSE results today. Last year they delivered the highest ever pass rate for A to C grades.

Students across Wales will be picking up their results today. Credit: PA

If you're one of the many students, or family members, who are waiting to hear about GCSE results this morning, we'd like to hear from you.

You can send us your pictures or let us know how you're feeling.

Here's how you can get in touch:


Wales students 'least happy' in UK about A level results

An online poll by student website The Student Room suggests pupils in Wales are more unhappy with their A Level results this year than others in the UK.

An online poll shows Welsh students overall aren't happy with their A Levels - with the exception of Anglesey Credit: The Student Room

So far the results show:

  • Students in Wales feel the worst about results day with 28% saying they are 'unhappy'
  • Students in Northern Ireland are the most satisfied with a 92% happiness rate
  • Female students in the UK are 5% happier with results than male pupils
An online poll shows Welsh students are the unhappiest with their results Credit: The Student Room

The regional average shows 84% of students are happy with their results. Wales lags behind considerably with only 72% of polled students saying they are pleased with their grades.

A-level Results Day is one of the busiest and most stressful times for students whose years of study will culminate with the release of today's grades.

"If you haven’t achieved the grades you hoped for, our advice is always to remain calm. With the cap on uni places lifted, there are more opportunities to study for a degree than ever before by entering Clearing.

You might even fancy a break from education to collect your thoughts through a gap year to travel or gain work experience.

– Jack Wallington, The Student Room

Welsh Government 'has a lot of work to raise standards' - Plaid Cymru

More work needs to be done to improve standards in Welsh schools despite a rise in top grade A level passes, says Plaid Cymru.

The current Welsh Government still has a lot of work to raise standards. The overall pass rate is lower than Northern Ireland and England. A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would focus on breaking the link between poor educational attainment and economic poverty."

Congratulations to all pupils on their achievements. Young people taking qualifications in Wales need qualifications that will be relevant and valued wherever in the world they subsequently choose to work and study. They need to be stretched by exams, preparing them for further study or the world of work.

– Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West

We welcome the introduction of a new grading system for the Welsh Baccalaureate. This year candidates who achieved the core certificate were awarded grades A*, A, B or C, with 12.2 per cent achieving a grade A*.

Grading the Welsh Baccalaureate and ensuring the advanced diploma develops and measures pupils’ skills rather than simply knowledge of the curriculum are crucial to ensuring that our young people can compete with others anywhere in the world.

– Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister

The Welsh Government have been approached for comment.

School budget cuts will mean 'significant challenges' to maintaining high results - NUT Cymru

NUT Cymru, Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers, has sent its congratulations to the thousands of youngsters celebrating their A Level results. But they warn that budget cuts could put pressure on maintaining high achievement.

“Students and teachers across Wales should be proud of the results they have secured. Many months of hard work and dedication have gone into ensuring that these high standards have been achieved. Very often students will have gained their grades as a result of the extra work teachers have put in above and beyond their working hours.

What we must of course guard against is a failure to sustain the sort of progress we have seen. Year on year Welsh students and teachers have delivered fantastic results. However, we are seeing significant challenges to school budgets which will put pressure on schools in ways that we have potentially not seen in Wales in the past. There will inevitably have to be questions asked if these excellent results can be maintained against this funding gap.”

– Owen Hathway, NUT Cymru
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