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Wales narrows GCSE attainment gap

21/08/2014 Kelly
Pupils studying in Wales have closed the GCSE gap with their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

According to exam results released on Thursday, there was an increase in the number of pupils receiving high grades. Some 19.2 per cent of pupils in Wales received either an A* or an A - a rise of 0.2 per cent on the previous year's figure.

There was also a one per cent rise in the number who obtained A* to C grades, closing the gap between Wales and the rest of the UK by 0.2 per cent, the BBC reports.

However, the overall pass rate fell slightly and there was a decline in the top grades for English following the introduction of a paper unique to Wales.

Falls were also witnessed in maths, French, German and Spanish, although there was an improvement in results for chemistry, physics and biology.

The figures will be welcomed by the Welsh government, as a number of initiatives have been launched with the aim of raising attainment levels in the country's schools.

Earlier this year, a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wales was in need of a "long-term strategy" to improve standards of education. It said continuing professional development for those in teaching jobs needed to play an essential role in boosting performance levels.

Responding to the report, education secretary Huw Lewis said: "I take on board the recommendations which call for improvements to teacher training and continuing professional development. 

"I agree with the need for stronger school to school collaboration, improved school leadership and raising the esteem in which our teachers are held. These are central to our school improvement agenda."

The Welsh government has also been looking at ways to boost the number of Welsh pupils attending Oxford and Cambridge universities after figures revealed a fall in the number of such students attending the institutions. 

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801743699-ADNFCR
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