16 August 2012
Outstanding A level results at Wales’ Colleges
The A level pass rate, as well as the higher A*-C pass rate, at a string of further education colleges in Wales are well above the UK average. Many students are now bound for Oxbridge, Russell Group universities and other prestigious establishments including RADA and a top global business school.
Outperforming the UK average at the more challenging A*-C grades are Gower College Swansea, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Gwent Crosskeys Campus, with Neath Port Talbot College reporting that a highly noteworthy 82.6% of its entries have achieved A*-C. Impressively, no fewer than 58% of entries at Gower College Swansea have been awarded at least a B grade, which is well above the Wales average of 49.9% as well as the UK average.
St David’s Catholic College’s Honours Programme for its gifted and talented students is reporting phenomenal results: 81% of students gained A* or A grade, with 100% gaining A*-B grade at A2 level. Across the college as a whole, the A*-A grade stands at 40%, well outstripping the UK average of 26.6%. Six of its students will be going to Oxbridge.
Meanwhile, Yale College Wrexham sees four of its A level students leave for Oxbridge including star twins Michael and William Antony who have notched up 7 A* and 2 A grades between them. Michael is off to study Maths at Cambridge University whilst William takes his 4 A* grades to Cambridge to study Law. Biology at Oxford University is Tom Challoner’s destination, having reaped a fantastic 3A*s and an A as well as the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma.
Joining them at Oxbridge will be Neath Port Talbot College’s Rebecca Baker (engineering), and three from Gower College Swansea: straight A* student Aimee Hesketh (veterinary medicine), Leah Dudley (law) and arts student Dominic Thomas.
Striving for a top vocational qualification is Chelsea Bond from Neath Port Talbot College. She is taking her A*-A results in four A levels to Henley Business School - rated among the top 1% in the world. She will study for an Accounting and Business degree, which has been designed in partnership with PWC and ICAEW. It includes paid work placements at PWC and an offer of employment with a premium starting salary for successful graduates and a fast-track to full chartered accountant status.
A string of college students will follow Chelsea’s vocational direction, and are off to study law and medicine-related subjects at top universities. Future lawyers include Pembrokeshire College’s Lauren Probert, Gower College Swansea’s Sarah Sardar, Deeside College’s Samuel Carr, Neath Port Talbot’s Marybeth Thornhill, and Coleg Menai’s Beca Llewelyn Roberts – who has in addition been granted a scholarship. Medicine is the choice of Coleg Sir Gâr’s Daniel Mauro, hearing impaired Luke Nixon of Yale College who’s going to Cardiff University, and his fellow student at Yale, Sioned Williams, is off to King’s College London; while bio veterinary science is the choice of Kate Morris of Coleg Menai.
Gower College Swansea’s Rosie Sheehy on the other hand is not pursuing a science career despite receiving A*-A in biology, chemistry and maths. That’s because she has also received A* drama and theatre studies, which has given her the freedom to follow her passion at RADA. She’ll be joined there by Yale College’s Joe Roberts.
Languages have notched some great successes this year. 100% of entries in French and Russian achieved A*-C at Cardiff and Vale College. 50% of Welsh second language entries achieved A*-A at Coleg Sir Gar, surpassing the Wales average of 16% by an incredibly large margin. With great results in Welsh, French and history, Yale College’s Nicola Brown is preparing to start a degree in Welsh at Bangor University. University College London is Isabella Abdou’s destination, where she takes her straight A*-As from Gower College Swansea to study for a degree in Spanish and Russian. And Neath Port Talbot College’s Alice Parson and Emily Kate Morgan who have both received straight As will both pursue French at degree level.
It is not only the traditional 16-18 year old full time A level students that colleges support to great personal success. There are also mature students, part-time students and second-chance students. For example, this year’s science successes from Cardiff and Vale College include:
- Yannik Herbert, who left school at 14 without any GCSEs but happily discovered college and has now gained A*s in English Literature, Maths and Physics at the age of 20 and is off to Cambridge University.
- Seongju Lee, who arrived from Korea in 2009 with little English and consequently didn’t do well at school. But in just two years at the college, he’s passed his GCSEs, AS level Maths, and today, still aged just 18, he’s received A grades in his Maths and Physics A levels.
- Miles Capper, who has been through hard times, including prison at the age of 17, but has turned himself around with the support of the college and is today trying to decide where to study for a BSc Chemistry following competing offers from top universities.
Colleges are proud of ensuring strong support for the whole range of A level candidates. Wales’ colleges from north to south are reporting higher pass rates than the UK average, including at: Coleg Sir Gâr, Pembrokeshire College, Yale College Wrexham, Deeside College, Coleg Gwent Crosskeys Campus and Neath Port Talbot College. The majority of the A level subjects in these colleges had 100% success rate. And Coleg Menai’s A level success rate could not be bettered – with a 100% success rate across the board.
Chief Executive of ColegauCymru, John Graystone, said: “It is an immensely proud moment to report that the A level pass rate at so many Welsh colleges outstrips the UK average at both A*-E as well as at the higher A*-C grades. A few colleges are particularly large providers of A levels, giving these outstanding results nation-wide significance. There were 1,687 A level entries at Gower College Swansea, 1,086 at Neath Port Talbot College, more than 900 at Coleg Gwent and around 900 also at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
“The larger tertiary colleges have demonstrated that their most highly talented students achieve with the best. Achieving at least three A grades were 23 students at Yale College Wrexham and 21 students at both Neath Port Talbot College and Coleg Gwent.
“I am delighted to congratulate the highest performing students who are going to the most prestigious universities. I am particularly delighted at those students who have achieved beyond their wildest dreams. Many who had left school with poor or mediocre results have turned their lives around by enrolling at college, working hard, and reaping strong A level results and university places.
“My sincere congratulations go to the students, and their teachers and the staff at colleges across Wales who have supported them on their way to success in the A levels.”
Contact: Sylvia Davies on 029 2052 8384 or 07968 771913.
Notes to editors:
1. ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is a national educational charity that represents all 19 further education (FE) colleges and institutions in Wales. Its mission is to raise the profile of further education with key decision-makers to improve opportunities for learners in Wales. For further information about ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, and the colleges it represents, visit www.colegaucymru.ac.uk or www.collegeswales.ac.uk
2. Press contacts for the colleges named in this release:
• Coleg Gwent: Kim Spurr T: 01495 333507 M: 0772 0380545
• Neath Port Talbot College: Fay Harris T: 01639 648006
• Coleg Sir Gâr: Mandy Wyrwoll T: 01554 748533
• Gower College Swansea: Allison Lowe T: 01792 284262
• Cardiff and Vale College: Christopher Baker T: 01446 725015
• Deeside College: Claire Nicholson or Vicky Barwis T: 01244 834531
• Pembrokeshire College: Geoff Elliott T: 01437 753100
• St David’s Catholic College: Alwyn Lloyd or Holly Bryant T: 029 20498 555
• Yale College: Angela Witter T: 01978 317321 ext 2033
• Grŵp Llandrillo Menai: Jane Cater T: 01492 546666, or Sarah Wynn at Coleg Menai (part of Grwp Llandrillo Menai T: 01248 370125 ext 3548)