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Thursday, 26 August, 1999, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Welsh GCSE results break exam record
Exam success
GCSE pass rates in Wales have risen to over 98%
The results of Welsh pupils taking GCSE exams have broken all previous records with a pass rate of over 98%.

Pupils scored a 98.1% pass rate in grades A* to G - an increase of 0.2% on the previous year.

There was also a 1.4% rise to 59.2% in the percentage of candidates in Wales gaining the top grades A* to C.

Welsh Education Secretary Rosemary Butler has praised pupils for what she called their "best-ever" performance.

Welsh Education Secretary Rosemary Butler
Welsh Education Secretary Rosemary Butler
Mrs Butler, who has responsibility in Wales for education policy for pupils aged up to 16, said: "This year's performance is a credit to our pupils, teachers and parents.

"The results represent our best-ever performance and all are to be congratulated on achieving such notable success.

"I am particularly pleased with the improvements made in mathematics, science and Welsh, but disappointed by the apparent small drop in English."

The results are based on the work of pupils who sat exams for the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).

There was a total of 222,246 entries in Wales.

Ambitious targets

Results show 16.4% of candidates achieved grades A* and A, an increase of 0.8% on last year, and 5.2% gained the top grade A*, a 0.4% rise on 1998.

Mrs Butler said the National Assembly was "making further strides towards the ambitious targets we have set for 2002".

Its targets include making sure that 91% of 15-year-olds gain at least five GCSE grades A* to G.

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BBC Wales's education correspondent Julie Barton reports on the nation's best-ever GCSE results
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19 Aug 99 | Wales
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