Students from across South West Wales are celebrating after receiving GCSE results, but there are fewer top grades across Wales as a whole following the results of the first summer exams since 2019.
Across Wales, 68.8% of students received grades A* to C, down from 73.6% last year when teachers decided grades.
GCSE students in Swansea celebrated results that were well above those for Wales as a whole.
The figures show 27.9% of city pupils gained A* and A grades in their WJEC subjects, which is significantly better than the 25.1% for those in Wales as a whole.
More than 70% of students achieved the higher grades of A* to C in 31 of the 38 different subjects.
Meanwhile, the top grades of A* and A were awarded to over a third of all entrants in 17 subjects.
A total of 97.9% of GCSE subject entries in Swansea were passed (grades A* to G), and tops the Welsh pass rate for 2022 of 97.3%.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, Robert Smith, said: “I’m delighted that so many pupils have done so well and that their hard work and the work of our schools and teachers has been rewarded.
“Sadly during the last two years pupils, their families, and our schools have faced significant disruption which make their achievements today even more special.
“I’d congratulate all students, not just those taking GCSEs, but also our young people taking alternative options offered in many of our schools that lead to important qualifications.
“There are lots of paths now open to young people in Swansea whether it is continuing school or college, training or apprenticeships or going onto employment. I wish all our pupils the very best for their futures whatever they decide to do.”
Swansea GCSE students also surpassed their counterparts in terms of the number of them gaining the higher grades in full course subjects. The figures show 72.5% of entrants here scored A* to C grades, well above the comparable figure for all-Wales for 2022 of 68.6%.
In Swansea, a total of 22,255 WJEC full course GCSE entries in summer 2022 were made in 38 different subjects/syllabuses.
In no fewer than 17 of the different subjects/syllabuses, all entrants from Swansea schools achieved grades A* to G – a 100% pass rate. A pass rate of 90% or better was also recorded for all other full-course subjects.
In the key core subjects of Welsh First Language, English Language and Mathematics, the Swansea overall results compare very well to the national results.
In Carmarthenshire 72.1% of all entries have been awarded an A*-C grade representing an increase of 1.2% since examinations were last sat in 2019. This is higher than the national average of 68.6%.
27.2% of entries achieved an A*-A grade representing a significant increase of 5.9% in comparison to 2019 and again higher than the national average of 25.1%. 91.6 % of entries achieved an A – E grade.
Speaking on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr. Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language said: “We are so happy for those young people who are receiving their well-earned GCSE grades, congratulations to you all.”
“Carmarthenshire County Council is very proud of our young people’s achievements, as are we of the support and commitment given by their teachers, support staff, families and friends. Thank you all for your hard work in what has been a challenging couple of years, due to the COVDI-19 pandemic. We wish you all well in your future endeavours.”
In a joint statement, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters and Director of Education and Children’s Services, Gareth Morgans added: “We are extremely proud what of has been achieved by our learners and they fully deserve these results. This year, for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, our GCSE learners have sat examinations. The pandemic, however, has loomed large over their preparations and they, along with their teachers, support staff, families and friends, have had to display resilience and dedication to achieve these fantastic results. We are grateful to you all.”
“We would also like to thank our schools and their staff for their continued hard work and commitment to providing our learners with the very best opportunities to succeed.”
Cllr Guy Woodham, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, said, “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for all learners who have taken public examinations.
“The continuing impact of the pandemic has been profound. Our students have been resilient and risen to the challenges that they have faced. I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements.
“As a Local Authority, we have been committed to supporting learners in achieving the best possible outcomes.
“Students who have received their results today will have acquired a range of skills that enable them to be lifelong learners and hopefully achieve more than they thought possible.
“I wish them every success for the future.”
Director for Education Steven Richards-Downes said, “Every learner who has received their results today should be proud of their achievements as they have met the challenges of the return to external examinations.
“All students will have a range of options available to them to help them continue with education, training or employment.”
Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot Council said that despite unprecedented challenges and significant disruption to their last few years of studies due to the Covid-19 crisis, pupils have been rewarded with outstanding outcomes which fully reflect their efforts and commitment to learning over their time in school.
This year’s GCSE grades are based on examinations.
GCSE and vocational qualification performance in 2022 is excellent with 68.9% of pupils achieving at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades or equivalent and 20.8% of pupils gaining 5 AA grades or more. Pupils’ excelled in literacy and numeracy with 73.9% achieving grades A*-C in English or Welsh language or literature and 62.8% gaining these grades in mathematics or numeracy.
Overall, the standards achieved by the year 11 cohort of 2022 are very strong and are a clear reward of pupils’ hard work throughout their school careers.
Council Leader, Cllr Steve Hunt, said: “I am very proud of our young people in Neath Port Talbot and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported them to achieve their results. Their parents, schools and communities must also take great pride in their achievements.”
Councillor Nia Jenkins, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Wellbeing added: “I would like to congratulate all pupils on their success. Schools in Neath Port Talbot have again secured very good results in the face of many changes and challenges. I have complete confidence in our teaching workforce and am assured that pupils can take their key stage 4 qualifications as a sound basis to enter their next phase of education, employment or training.”
Education Minister welcomes results
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, congratulated young people across Wales as they receive their GCSE, Welsh Baccalaureate and vocational qualification results.
The Minister said: “Congratulations to everyone receiving their results today. You should all be proud of your hard work through the disruption of the last two years.
“I welcome these results as we transition back to exams this year – it’s great to see what our learners have achieved.
“Don’t be too disappointed and don’t be too hard on yourself if things didn’t quite go to plan today. There are a range of options available to you, whether you’re unsure what to do next, or perhaps you didn’t sit your exams. Get in touch with Careers Wales or your school for support.
“Everyone under 25 has the opportunity to enrol in education or training, find work or become self-employed through our Young Person’s Guarantee. Take a look at Working Wales online to find out how to get involved.
“I hope you are pleased with your achievements and pob lwc on your next steps.”
(Lead image: Swansea Council)
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