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Verified statistics show Wales best ever GCSE results

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Verified statistics published today show that Welsh pupils achieved their best ever GCSE results in the 2014/15 academic year and that pupils from less well off backgrounds made further progress in closing the gap with their class mates.
Wednesday 02 December 2015

Results also show that of the 40 schools being supported by the Welsh Government’s Schools Challenge Cymru programme, over two thirds saw an increase in their performance.

The Welsh Government published provisional exam results in September, however today’s verified figures show an even brighter picture for Wales.

The progress has been warmly welcomed by Education Minister Huw Lewis.

In the 2014/15 academic year:

  • 57.9% of 15 year olds in Wales achieved at least  5 A*-C at GCSE,   including English or Welsh First Language and Mathematics -  an increase of 2.5  percentage points on 2013/ 14 and 13.6 percentage  points higher than when records began in 2006/07.
  • 84.1% achieved 5 A*-C at GCSE equivalent – an increase of 1.8 percentage points on 2013/14
  • 69.7% A*-C in English or Welsh First Language – an increase of 2.5 percentage points on the previous year and the highest since records began
  • 64.4% achieved A* - C in Mathematics, 2.7 percentage points higher than 2013/14 and again the highest on record.
  • 84% achieved A*-C in Science an increase of 1.7 percentage points  on 2013/14
  • 31.6% of  pupils eligible for free meals achieved 5 A*-C at GCSE,   including English or Welsh First Language and Mathematics. This is 3.9 percentage points higher than in 2013/14.
  • At A-level, 97% of 17 year olds achieved 2 A levels at A*-E or equivalent – a very small decrease of 0.1 percentage points on the previous year.
  • 27 of the Welsh Government’s 40 Schools Challenge Cymru schools saw an increase in the number of their pupils achieving 5 A*-C at GCSE,   including English or Welsh First Language and Mathematics after just one year of additional support through the programme.
  • On average school’s being supported by Schools Challenge Cymru improved at a faster rate than other schools

Education Minister, Huw Lewis said:

“I am delighted by these statistics. They show our best ever performance in a number of key subjects and the highest ever percentage of our learners attaining  5 good GCSEs  including Mathematics and English or Welsh first language.

“They also show real progress in closing the stubborn attainment gap between those pupils eligible for free school meals and their contemporaries, something I have always been clear is a key priority for me.

“The results of our 40 Schools Challenge Cymru schools are also really encouraging.  These schools are amongst the most challenged in Wales and   have historically struggled to keep pace with improvement rates at other schools.

“The fact that two thirds have recorded improvements after just one year of support, and a number are reporting percentage increases into double figures really is worthy of special commendation.

“While many schools in the Challenge   have seen an improvement in their results already, I recognise that there is still much to be done.

“The focus of the first year of Schools Challenge Cymru was on ensuring each school had foundations in place on which to build rapid and sustainable improvements. I fully expect further significant gains to be made by these schools in 2016.

“All these results are the reflection of a great deal of hard work and commitment from pupils and teachers and I whole heartedly congratulate them on this success.

“Whilst there is more to be done, they also show our education reform programme really is working, and that are education system continues to be on the up.”



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Education and skills 02 December 2015 Schools Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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