November exam entry and summer 2018 special consideration statistics published

Thursday 29 Nov 2018

Qualifications Wales today becomes the publisher of official statistics for the first time. 

“We’ve published statistics on a voluntary basis for the past two years, but today marks the beginning of a new period for us as we are now authorised to publish official statistics,” said Kate Crabtree, Executive Director for Policy and Research. 

“It means that we will be aiming to produce statistics that are trustworthy, of high quality and which are valued in accordance with the three pillars of the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Statistics”. 

Two sets of statistics are published today: The provisional number of entries for the November 2018 GCSE exams, and special consideration for GCSE, AS and A level in Wales during summer 2018. 

The provisional data for November entries shows: 

  • There were 22,450 entries for GCSEs in November 2018, down by 32,395, or 59.1% compared with November 2017; 
  • Year 11 entries account for 18,585, or 82.8%. of all entries. This is down from 50,190, or 91.5% of all entries last November. 
  • Total entries for GCSE Mathematics decreased by 70.4% in November 2018 compared with a year earlier. GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy saw a decrease of 38.3%. 

The decrease can be linked to a rule change for GCSE entry announced by Welsh Government in October 2017, which means that from summer 2019 only a pupil’s first entry to a GCSE exam will count towards their school’s performance measures. Previously the best grade counted. It has led to a reduction in schools entering their pupils early for exams. 

Qualifications Wales also published statistics today on the number of special consideration requests and approvals in Wales for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in summer 2018. 

The key points show: 

  • There were 41,665 special consideration requests in summer 2018, up 1.8% on summer 2017. 
  • The proportion of special consideration requests approved in summer 2018 was 79.9%, down from 95.1% in summer 2017. 
  • The proportion of assessments sat with an approved special consideration remained stable at 3.3% in 2018, compared with 3.2% in 2017.