1. Wales

GCSE results: English language 'comparable' as gap closes

Thousands of pupils around Wales are receiving their GCSE grades. Overall, Wales is continuing to close the gap with the rest of the UK. For English language, after shock low grades in January, the Welsh Government says final results are 'comparable' to last year, with only small falls.

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Education Minister: English results 'comparable' to 2013

The Welsh Government says today's GCSE English language results show pupils have "achieved comparable outcomes to those in summer 2013", which is "especially pleasing" following unexpectedly low marks in January units.

Education Minister Huw Lewis also said overall results "signal a historic high point", with 66.6 per cent of pupils receiving A* - C grades the highest proportion ever in Wales.

He said the Welsh Government would be looking careful at maths results, after a fall in the proportion of pupils getting A* or A grades from 12 per cent to 10.3 per cent - and a fall in the proportion getting A* - C grades from 52.8 per cent to 50.6 per cent.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to all students in Wales who are collecting their GCSE results today.

English Language outcomes are especially pleasing following the January unit outcomes. I said in March, when those outcomes were published, that it was important to see what the full qualification outcomes would bring.

Today’s qualification results show that, for GCSE English Language, learners in Wales, with the support of their teachers, have achieved comparable outcomes to those in summer 2013. Indeed for the stable cohort of learners – that is candidates aged 16, A*-C outcomes at 62.6% are higher, by 0.6 percentage points than they were in summer 2013.

We are looking carefully at the headline outcomes for Mathematics as changes in entry patterns have had a negative impact on summer outcomes. If we compare outcomes for 16 year-old candidates this summer with those from last summer it reveals that the results A*-C were only down by 0.2 percentage points for this group, which is the stable group for whom comparisons are realistic. We will have a better picture of overall performance when the full set of performance data is available in the autumn.

We are striving to improve and already have measures in place to raise our game in Mathematics, such as the Literacy and Numeracy Framework which will improve performance in years to come. We are also introducing new Maths GCSEs from September 2015 and their implementation will be supported by regional consortia, funded by Welsh Government, as well as by WJEC.

The highest standards of literacy and numeracy are essential for ensuring progress and achievement in education; for the economic health of the nation; and for supporting the general well-being of the population as a whole as well as individuals.

– Huw Lewis, Education Minister

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