Record high exam results for 15 and 17-year-olds in Wales have been welcomed by Welsh education secretary Huw Lewis.
According to the finalised statistics for 2013-14, 55.4 per cent of 15-year-old pupils in Wales achieved the level two threshold, which includes a GCSE grade A*-C in English or Welsh first language and mathematics.
This is a 2.7 per cent rise on the 2012-13 figures and represents the highest year-on-year improvement rate since records began in 2006-07.
There was also good news for 17-year olds, with the Level 3 threshold up by 0.6 percentage points on 2012-13.
Mr Lewis said the figures demonstrate that "we are making real and solid progress in driving up education standards in Wales and that we are closing the gap with England".
He added that there is still more to be done to raise standards but congratulated youngsters and those in teaching jobs on their achievements.
The data will now be inputted into the categorisation system for secondary schools, enabling the government to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual institutions and raise performance levels.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels