13 August 2015
Article by Sian Hughes, National Assembly for Wales Research Service
Students in Wales, England and Northern Ireland receive their A level results today. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ – a membership organisation comprising the seven providers of qualifications in the UK) publish summaries of the results. The JCQ data shows the collective results of the entries of the member awarding bodies. The results published by the JCQ relate to ‘entries’ and not to ‘candidates’. So, for example, the data can show that performance has increased or declined at A level or within the grades. It cannot show whether more boys or girls achieve five or more passes at GCSE. The data relates to the outcome of the individual subject areas for all regardless of their age.
The data in the tables below compare results for 2014 and 2015. This comparison is made based on the data published by JCQ on A level results day in 2014. Data is provisional and they represent the position at the time that results are issued. Data are subject to checking before final data at national (Wales), local authority and school level is published.
Provisional A level data was published on 13 August 2015. The information relates to entries and not candidates.
Comparison between 2014 and 2015
- In Wales, there has been a small decrease in the overall pass rate (by 0.2 per cent) to 97.3 per cent. In England there was a small increase of 0.1 per cent;
- The percentage of entries achieving grades A*-C has decreased in Wales, by 0.9 per cent to 74.3 per cent with an increase of 0.7 per cent in England;
- In Wales, there has been a decrease in the percentage of entries achieving A*-A grades by 0.2 per cent to 23.1 per cent. In England there was a decrease of 0.1 per cent;
- In Wales there was an increase in the percentage of entries achieving grade A*of 0.6 per cent to 7.3 per cent. There was no change in England.
Male and females
- Females continue to achieve better grades than males in both Wales and England, with the exception of the percentage achieving grade A*. At grade A* the gap between males and females has increased slightly in Wales;
- In other grades, in Wales, the gap in achievement between males and females has decreased since last year at grades A*-A, A*-C and A*-E.
- Wales and England
- England continues to achieve better results than Wales, with the gap increasing at all grades except for grades A* where the gap closed by 0.6 per cent.
Tables 1 and 2 show the percentages of entries in all subjects by grade attained for Wales and England, male and female entries and for 2014 and 2015.
Summer results for the Advanced Welsh Bac are also published today. The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is delivered at schools, colleges and training providers throughout Wales. The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (Welsh Bac) consists of two parts; ‘Options’ and a ‘Core Programme’. The ‘Options’ must be completed by students studying for all levels of the Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma, and are options selected from established, approved courses or programmes (for example GCSEs, Vocational GCSEs, AS/A Levels, Vocational A Levels).
The ‘Core Programme’ are personal development studies which students must complete along with their Options. To be awarded a Diploma, candidates must meet the requirements of both the Options and the Core. The Core is graded for the first time this year.
At Advanced level:
- There was a percentage increase in candidates being awarded the Advanced Diploma from 87.1 per cent in 2014 to 87.4 per cent in 2015;
- 92.2 per cent of candidates achieving the Core Certificate, compared with 92.4 per cent in 2014;
- 12.2 per cent achieved grade A* for the Core
29.3 per cent achieved grade A for the Core
30.3 per cent achieved grade B for the Core
20.4 per cent achieved grade C for the Core