Wales' education minister Huw Lewis AM expecting "improved GCSE results" in Gwent despite special measures
WALES’ education minister has told Argus he is expecting to see improved GCSE results in the three Gwent counties in special measures.
Huw Lewis said there were “no surprises” in falls in the results of Welsh students getting top grades in Maths and Science, saying examinations were now more rigorous.
He said he wanted to delve more deeply into why some students are doing their GCSEs earlier – one of the reasons blamed for the tail off in performance in the two subjects.
A breakdown of results by county hadn’t arrived with Mr Lewis when the Argus spoke to him Thursday morning. However the education minister said it was right to point to issues around particular local authorities in special measures, including Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.
He said: “I’m looking to see improvement there most of all, obviously. We need to see those authorities showing steady progress.”
“Our programme of support for those local authorities will carry on.
“What’s most important of all is that in South East Wales we have local authorities working together on a consortium basis to support each other, to make sure that we have sufficient capacity of expertise within each education department and that we have a laser like focus on the school improvement agenda.”
He said he was “very encouraged” by this year’s results, saying students were standing steady. Falls in Maths and Science results were “expected” and a UK wide phenomenon, he said.
Mr Lewis added that he wants to look into the increase in 15 year olds entering Maths and English GCSE earlier. “Our guidance from the Welsh Government is that only the most able pupils should be considered for that kind of early entry,” he said.
The Argus asked him if the qualifications are getting harder: “They are more rigorous, yeah. It’s important that GCSEs are respected as qualifications. They need to be tough.”
He added: “We’ve seen none of the instability in the system that we saw in England last year. We worked very hard with colleagues in Northern Ireland and in England to make sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen again. There’s greater rigour in that system.”
Comments are closed on this article.