GCSE Success supports learner progression


Wales’ post-16 education charity offers it’s congratulations to all learners on achieving their GCSE results today and the results will allow them to progress with their education and training. Special recognition must also go to the colleges and staff committed to supporting learners fulfil their potential through resits and returning to education.

Iestyn Davies, CEO of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales of the post-16 education charity said, "Welsh Government has long recognised the importance of providing GCSE opportunities for a wide range of learners. The number of resits and results remain relatively stable, therefore GCSE learner numbers and results should be monitored in order to support Wales to achieve its ambition as a nation of lifelong learning. Today, on GCSE results day the main focus for us is on ensuring that all learners but particularly those aged 16 are empowered to take the next steps in their personal learning journey.”

The charity has previously supported the changes to GCSE’s in Wales especially in the steps taken to make them more relevant to the world of work. By keeping a recognisable and easily understood A*- G grading system learners, parents and employers will be able to acknowledge the learner outcome and support progression.

Mr Davies concluded, “Whilst many will celebrate, today, some learners will be wondering what to do next. Options are available throughout Wales’ further education college network for resits and specialised support for learners who need it. Options are also available for adult learners looking to upskill through part time learning across Wales.”



  • Following the upward trend seen in last week's A level results, the proportion of students in Wales being awarded the top grades A* - A has increased; from 17.9% to 18.5% this year.
  • Despite the 8.9% decrease in entries, overall GCSE performance in Wales continues to remain relatively stable with 61.6% of students achieving grades A* - C across all subjects; compared to 62.8% in 2017.

Qualifications Wales

  • In Wales, this summer’s overall GCSE performance is broadly stable. The proportion of A* and A grades awarded has increased slightly, the proportion of A* to C grades has fallen and the overall pass rate (A*-G) is marginally down.
  • It’s important to remember that these results are only for exams sat in Wales this summer by students of all ages. They do not give a full or accurate picture of the GCSEs achieved by 16-year-olds in Wales. The cohort of students sitting GCSE exams in some core subjects this summer is very different to previous years.
  • This summer there has been a big fall in the number of entries from Year 10 students. This is likely to have been caused by a change to Welsh Government policy which means that, from summer 2019, only a student’s first result will count towards school performance tables.
  • Last year saw a record number of students in Year 10 sitting GCSEs early. This means that the number of Year 11 students who have sat their exams in some subjects this summer is lower than in previous years. A significant number of Year 11 students achieved their GCSEs in English Language, Welsh Language, Mathematics and Mathematics-Numeracy in an earlier exam series – summer or winter 2017 – so their results are not reported in this summer’s data.
  • The number of students taking the new science GCSEs has increased. This is because from this year, only results from the new reformed GCSEs can count towards school performance measures. GCSE results in Biology, Chemistry and Physics remain stable.
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