‘Record showing at A* shows Wales is on the right road, but there are still one or two bumps’
Commenting after the release of this year’s A level results, Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru, said:
‘Congratulations are due to students, teachers and lecturers for all their hard work in producing these excellent A level results. It is especially pleasing that there has been a significant increase in the number of students getting the A* grade, up from 6.7% to 7.3%. As the UK results have remained static this is one performance gap that we are definitely closing. It is also pleasing to see that in terms of the so-called ‘facilitating subjects’, those ranked highly by the top twenty Russell Group universities, Wales comfortably leads the way with 55.7% of A level entries being in these subjects as opposed to 51.5% in the rest of the UK. The disastrous decline in modern foreign language take up also seems to have been arrested, though the picture for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is more mixed.
There are one or two bumps on the road though. 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.