In this guest blog, Jo Richards, Director of Regulation with Qualifications Wales, explains the changes introduced to GCSE examinations this year and what it may mean for this August’s results.
Yesterday, we posted an article about Wales’ results in PISA and the Welsh Government’s targets for future cycles. This referred to recent statements by the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary about targets for PISA, which have highlighted the particular challenge of improving the standards of Wales’ highest achievers.
Recent statements by the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Education have again focused attention on the Welsh Government’s approach towards the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and its aspirations for Wales’ performance in future cycles. This first article in a two-part series looks at Wales’ PISA results and the Welsh Government’s targets for improvement. Tomorrow, we will focus on outcomes for more able and talented learners, which is emerging as a specific challenge and particularly important to improving Wales’ international standing.
13 September 2013
The Research Service has published a Research Note on the 2013 examination results which were published last month.
The note provides an overview of the provisional 2013 A level and GCSE results for Wales and a summary of summer 2013 Welsh Baccalaureate results.
Comparisons are provided with results for 2012 and with England where applicable.
Listed below are some of the key points.
- The overall pass rate (A*-E) in Wales remained at 97.6 per cent whilst in England there was a small increase of 0.1 percentage point;
- The A*-C rate in Wales rose 0.2 percentage point to 75.2 per cent whilst in England it rose 0.6 percentage point to 77.0 per cent;
- The gender gap at grade A* and A*-C slightly decreased in Wales whilst the gap at A*-E remained at 1.1 percentage point;
- However, the gap at grades A*-A grew in Wales from 1.2 percentage point in 2012 to 2.3 percentage points with 23.9 per cent of females achieving these grades compared with 21.6 per cent of their male counterparts;
- England continues to achieve better results than Wales.
- In Wales, grades have decreased at grades A* and grades A*-C, by 0.4 and 0.1 percentage point respectively;
- The gap in Wales between males and females has increased at all levels (grade C and above) other than the overall pass rate (A*-G) where the gap decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 0.4 per cent in 2012;
- England continues to achieve better results than Wales. However, in 2013 the gap in attainment has decreased.
- The numbers of candidates that complete the programme at both Advanced and Intermediate level continues to grow;
- There was a small percentage drop in candidates being awarded the Advanced Diploma, from 82.8 per cent in 2012 to 82.7 per cent in 2013;
- 79.3 per cent of candidates were awarded the Intermediate Diploma, which is an increase of 6.8 percentage points over 2012;
- There was a decrease in the number of candidates completing the programme at Foundation level although the proportion awarded the Diploma rose from 63.5 per cent in 2012 to 77 per cent in 2013.
Article written by Michael Dauncey.