AFTER two years of disrupted education like no others in peacetime, A-Level grades for students across Wales were published on Tuesday, August 10.

Pembrokeshire County Council acknowledged students’, teachers’, and families’ efforts to get to this point after such a trying period.

The COVID19 pandemic has continued to pose significant challenges for learners, families, and schools this year with new systems being used to calculate learner outcomes due to the cancellation of the Summer 2021 Examination Series.

Centre Determined Grades have been determined using teaching professional judgement based on non-examination assessments.

Director for Education Steven Richards-Downes said: “We congratulate all learners today on their achievements. Every learner has faced and overcome extraordinary challenges over the course of the last two academic years. It is important that we acknowledge that and thank learners for continuing to engage in their education at this very difficult time.

“Every school has enabled learners to achieve outcomes that will provide them with a range of options. All learners have achieved outcomes that will enable them to take the next steps in their journey whether that is further or higher education, employment, or training.

“We are sharing in the success of each learner and all schools have shared examples of this success with the Council. Tell us your stories by using the hashtag #resultspembrokeshire2021.”

Each school with a 6th form will have a story to tell about their A level and Level 3 learners.

Cllr Guy Woodham the Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning stated: “I would like to congratulate all learners on their achievements. As a Local Authority, we have been committed to supporting learners in achieving the best possible outcomes.

“Learners who have received their results today will have acquired a range of skills that enable them to be lifelong learners and hopefully achieve more than they thought possible. I wish all learners every success for the future.”

MINISTER PRAISES ACHIEVEMENTS

Remarkable achievement: Education Minister Jeremy Miles praises students, schools, and families

Education Minister Jeremy Miles praised the achievements of students all over Wales as 2021 A, AS, VQ and Skills Challenge Certificates.

The total number of A level entries in Wales this year was 35,867, an increase of 14.5% relative to 2020, reversing the decreasing A level entries since the summer of 2015, and resulting in an extra 4,500 A levels being awarded to Welsh learners this year.

Results for Wales show that 99.1% of learners achieved A* – E grades, up from 97.6% in 2019, with an increase at A* with 21.3% of candidates achieving this grade.

This year’s assessment and qualification process have been different to previous years as examinations for summer 2021 were cancelled in response to the pandemic.

A new system was designed and delivered by schools and colleges and put trust in them to draw together a range of assessment evidence on which to determine a learner’s grade.

Jeremy Miles said: “I hope everyone who received their grades today feels immensely proud of their remarkable achievement.

“This year has been like no other and you’ve had to make many sacrifices.

“You have had to deal with so much disruption to your studies over the past 18 months, but you have shown tremendous resilience and determination to continue your learning. You have also played an incredibly important role in keeping your classmates, teachers, and communities safe.

“While your experiences and the way in which you have been assessed have been different, the value of these qualifications is not.

“You can be sure that your grades reflect your hard work throughout this year, and you fully deserve the qualifications you receive.

“Our school and college staff have also been tremendous, working incredibly hard and under a lot of pressure to deliver and mark learners’ assessments.

“The most important thing this year is that learners are able to progress to the next stage of their education, training, or their work careers. 

“Best of luck to you all in whatever your future holds.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones MS, said: “I would like to congratulate every student who has picked up their A Level results today after what has been an incredibly challenging year.

“The hard work of the students and teachers is reflected in the excellent results we see today, and they will afford so many opportunities going forward.”

“On behalf of my Welsh Conservative colleagues, I wish all learners the very best for the future, whether it be heading to university, starting an apprenticeship or jumping straight into a job.”

DEDICATION AND HARD WORK PAYS OFF

Carmarthenshire’s Executive Board Member for Education, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “It has been a very difficult year, but all our students’ dedication and hard work has paid off and they should be extremely proud of themselves.

“These results are fully deserved, and I would like to wish all our students every success for the future, whichever path they choose to follow.

“I also want to thank all our teaching staff whose jobs have been even harder this year yet again, and these results are testament to all their excellent work and commitment.

“And we can’t forget the extraordinary support of family, friends and all the support staff in helping our students to reach their full potential.”

Ian Morgan, Chief Executive, WJEC, said: “On behalf of WJEC, I would like to congratulate students collecting their results today.

“Despite a particularly challenging period, their qualifications reflect the effort and determination they’ve shown throughout their studies.

“I would also like to recognise the hard work and professionalism of teachers, lecturers and teams working at schools and colleges across the country; they’ve demonstrated huge commitment and support for their students every step of the way.

“I wish all students the very best for the future; whether that’s continuing their studies or taking the first step in their careers.”

RESILIENCE SHOULD BE COMMENDED

Disruption: Empty classrooms and absence of face-to-face teaching hit learners hard

David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru said: “Congratulations to all students getting their A-Level, Welsh Baccalaureate, and other vocational and technical results today; they are thoroughly deserved, and a reflection of the hard work and effort demonstrated, as well as that of the education professionals, parents, and carers supporting them.

“Students this year have shown continued resilience and their achievements, through unprecedented levels of disruption and adversity, should be commended by everyone involved.

“Whilst the journey to today was far from ideal, it is refreshing that students can take comfort in receiving a grade based on the merits of their own work this year.

“The fact that students were assessed only on what they had been taught, the thorough checks and balances throughout the system and extensive exam board quality assurance should give everyone confidence that students have grades that reflect what they know and can do; these are not grades created by an algorithm relative to what everyone else achieved.”

Guy Woodham and Steven Richards-Downes: Pembrokeshire’s learners have overcome extraordinary challenges

Wales A level results

  • 99.1% of students in Wales achieved A* – E
  • 21.3% of students achieved an A*
  • Overall increase in entries for all subjects

Wales AS results

  • 96.7% of students achieved A-E
  • 37.1% of students in Wales achieved grade A
  • Overall decrease in AS entries

Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate / Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate

  • 96% of students achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points compared with 2020
  • The number of students doing the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate increased by 7.8 percentage points compared with 2020
  • 82.9% of candidates passed the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate