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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

'Our students are being let down' - Welsh Conservatives on A Level results

The Welsh Conservatives have sent their congratulations to students - but say Labour ministers must reflect on the "persistent performance gap" with other parts of the UK.

Students are 'being let down' say the Welsh Conservatives Credit: PA

“We’re lagging way behind and it’s been going on for too long.

With a rise in the top grades – but a drop in the overall pass rate - I fear these results show the bulk of our students are being let down.

Labour’s First Minister has admitted his party – which has run our schools since 1999 – took its eye off the ball.

It’s still clear that effective progress is desperately required and I urge Labour ministers to provide guarantees for the future.”

– Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education

The Welsh Government has been approached for a response.

'One or two bumps' in Wales A Levels still need to be addressed

Despite the record number of A* results, the union for teachers and lecturers ATL Cymru says there are still "one or two bumps" in A level results that need to be addressed:

The noticeable decline in Welsh first language results, all grade As dropping from nearly 26% to 20%, and the fall in numbers taking Welsh second language, over 10%, are bound to call into question the Welsh Government’s current approach.

The modest rate of increase in Grade As overall in Wales since 2012, just 1.8%, as opposed to 5.3% for the UK as a whole should also give pause for thought. Some of the English regions have leap-frogged over us in that regard.

We are obviously getting some things right but there are still some lessons for us to learn.

– Dr Philip Dixon, Director, ATL Cymru


Gower College Swansea results published

Gower College Swansea is celebrating an overall 98% pass rate at A Level, with 1548 separate exam entries.

Of these passes, 81% were at the higher grades of A*-C and 57% were at grades A*-B, both increases on the results of 2014.

The overall pass rate at AS level was 90%, with 66% of those passes being grades A-C and 42% being grades A or B, again increasing on 2014’s results.

There were 3066 separate exam entries for AS in total.

Congratulations once again to our students who have worked exceptionally hard to produce A Level results which will set them in good stead for Higher Education and employment

– Kay Morgan, Vice Principal

Coleg Gwent results published

975 Coleg Gwent students sat more than 3200 A Level examinations.

The College says the second cohort of students getting results at Coleg Gwent’s Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone campus in Ebbw Vale bettered last year's results with a 98.2% overall pass rate.

The overall pass rate at A*-C is 76.4%, an increase of 5% on last year’s result.

Across Coleg Gwent A Level students achieved a cross-college pass rate of 96.9% and students at Crosskeys Campus achieved an overall pass rate of 97.2%.

Twenty six subjects across the Campuses achieved a 100% pass rate.

We are very proud of our students who have worked hard and achieved such good grades.

– Guy Lacey, Acting Principal

Minister congratulates students and teachers on results

Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Education Minister, Huw Lewis has congratulated students and teachers in Wales on the A-level and Welsh Baccalaureate results.

This year’s A-level results show another strong performance in Wales with high outcomes at key subjects such as Maths, Further Maths, and French.

The percentage of our students achieving the very top grade has increased yet again and this year we are seeing the highest A* outcome for Wales since the grade was introduced in 2010. This shows a real and growing trend for improvement amongst our most able learners.

Achievements across Wales are the result of a great deal of hard work by students and their teachers and I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate everyone involved on this success.

– Huw Lewis AM, Education Minister
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