Wales' commitment to AS and A Levels supports college learner success

Photographer: Adrian White


Students and learners from colleges around Wales’ are celebrating today as they reap the benefits of hard work with outstanding A Level and AS grades. As well as recognising the achievements of individuals, the results give recognition to colleges as major players in providing academic education. Indeed, there is much to celebrate as some colleges are now exceeding the UK average pass rate of 97.6%, with other colleges delivering the 97.4% Wales pass rate as well.   

A steady rise in the pass rate is welcomed and supports the right decision by Wales to persist in the separation of the AS and A Level qualifications structure to support learner progress post-16. This separation allows leaners to build on successive years of study that will hopefully support them in their career and lifelong learning journey. 

Iestyn Davies CEO of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales the post compulsory education charity said “Congratulations to all learners who have received their results today, what an achievement. It’s also a pleasure to be able to thank college staff who continue to support learners to succeed and achieve.” 

Mr Davies added “Education can never be seen as a one time winner takes all possibility. Structured learning opportunities which involve the ability to focus on essential skills to build a wide portfolio of experience based within and beyond the classroom is essential. Offering structured learning routes in both academic and vocational disciplines is proving successful for learners in Wales, proving Welsh standards are leading on a UK stage.  

He concluded “To build a sustainable post compulsory education sector in Wales, achieving the vision of “Towards 2030”, Welsh Government must continue to focus on performance measures and the development of collaborative solutions between schools and colleges. Only a truly inclusive transformational system can support an improved learner journey and continued learner employability.” 

Colleges are in celebratory mode as learners enter the next stage of their life, as some head for prestigious universities including the Russell Group and Oxbridge, others continue their educational journey through higher level apprenticeships or go directly into employment. 

As we welcome the improvement in A level and AS achievements, we can also celebrate the improved performance in the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate.  Vocational learners studying extended diplomas – which carry the same UCAS points as A levels – are also confirming their university places today.

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