Congratulations to all those young people in Cardiff who have recently received their GCSE and A-level results.
Raising educational standards is a one of my administration’s top priorities and the results confirmed the continuing high standard and improvement of performance across Cardiff’s secondary schools.
For A-Levels, Cardiff schools remain well above the average for Wales, with 27.4% of students in Cardiff gaining the highest grades of A* and A, compared to 23.3% in Wales as a whole and 26% in England. In addition, 77.1% of students in Cardiff schools achieved grades A* – C, which was 1.9% higher than the all Wales figure.
And for GCSE’s, the percentage of Cardiff students achieving five A* to C grades including Mathematics and English has risen to 54%, a 4% increase on 2013 results, the largest year on year percentage increase seen in the city for many years, and the proportion of pupils attaining GCSE grades A* to C or equivalent has risen by 2% from 73% to 75%.
This success is based on the hard work of students, teachers and school support staff, together with the essential support and encouragement of families. And so I want to say well done to everyone and wish you every success as you move on to A-levels, college, university, training or employment.
Core Cities Group
I welcome last week’s announcement that Glasgow will formally be joining the Core Cities Group. This decision provides further recognition of the important role that cities have to play in the British economy. It also demonstrates that cities and city-regions are now being seen nationally as the keys to unlocking economic growth and to rebalancing the British economy away from London and the South East of England.
Cardiff is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities and is bouncing back strongly from the recession. In short, it’s a huge asset for the Welsh economy, which is why Wales cannot afford to ignore this agenda. If Cardiff– and the Capital Cardiff Region – is to keep pace with other leading cities, we will need additional investment, discretion over how this investment is spent and flexibilities in terms of raising revenues – all of which are at the heart of the City Deals being struck with the UK Government Treasury by other British cities.
Cardiff is also in advanced discussions to join the Core Cities Group and I’m pleased with the progress we’re making on this.
I will provide a further update on our work with other major British cities in the near future.