Leighton Andrews said:
“Today is a day for young people across the UK to celebrate their exam results which are the product of two years’ hard work. I am extremely proud of the thousands of learners who have achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma, A levels and AS levels. And of course let’s not forget the parents and teachers who have supported these young people every step of the way; they too richly deserve our congratulations.
“This year sees record numbers achieving the Welsh Baccalaureate’s Advanced Level Award. 6,948 students have achieved this qualification, compared to 4,360 last year. It is clear, as I said last year, the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is quickly becoming embedded as the pathway of choice in Wales.
“This is great news for students and great news for Wales. The Welsh Baccalaureate develops the skills and attitudes that universities and employers demand, it also gives our young people a real edge in the competitive job markets and in securing places in university.”
The 6,948 students who have achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma have a qualification to which UCAS has allocated 120 tariff points; the same points as an A grade A level. This is in addition to their A levels and other advanced level qualifications achieved as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate programmes.
The extra achievement of the Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma is recognised as an additional entry qualification for the majority of HE courses and institutions in the UK and it provides evidence of the skills that employers consistently say they need.
To achieve the Award, learners must complete a compulsory Core as well as Options of a minimum of two GCE A-levels or equivalent. The Core has five components - Six Key Skills or Essential Skills Wales, Wales, Europe and the World, Work Related Education, Personal and Social Education and the Individual Investigation. The Core helps the learners develop the independent learning skills that employers and Higher Education Institutions say that they want.
The Welsh Baccalaureate results published today show that;
- 8318 students were entered for the qualification and completed all the required elements. This is a 55% increase on the 2010 figure of 5380.
- Of this 8318, 7464 (90%) students achieved the Core certificate (cf. 4679, 87% in 2010) and 6948 (84%) achieved the full Diploma (cf. 4360 (81%) in 2010).
- Of the 131 centres entering candidates at Advanced Level, 33 are receiving their first set of Advanced Level results. This is an indication of how well centres are adapting to delivering the new qualification.
The A and AS level results published today show that for students in Wales:
- 97.2% of A level entries resulted in a pass.
- 23.9% of A level entries resulted in a pass at A or A*
- 86.8% of AS entries resulted in a pass.
The Minister said:
“The A level results are also excellent again this year; many congratulations to our students who are celebrating their well-earned achievements. I wish them all the very best as they continue on their learning journey.
“I have said on many occasions that I want to see standards of education in Wales improve across the board. I want all of our young people in Wales to succeed to the best of their ability. There can be little doubt that the competition for university places, work placements and jobs is tough and getting tougher. These young people collecting their results today have taken the first steps towards securing their futures. My job, as Minister, is to make sure that we give every young person in Wales the best possible support to achieve their potential.”