Better GCSE grades expected from exams reform
WELSH school pupils are expected to get better grades under ambitious new plans to reform GCSE exams.
Nearly two-thirds are predicted to gain five GCSEs at grades A* to C by 2015.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews announced a 20-point plan to drive up standards and performance in Welsh schools yesterday.
Currently, 50 per cent of pupils achieve five A* to C grade GCSEs including English or Welsh first language and maths.
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By 2015 the Welsh Government hopes to raise this to 65 per cent.
Mr Andrews said: "A good education is critical to better life chances.
"Ensuring that all learners have the chance to reach their full potential has been an important part of the culture of modern Wales since devolution.
"We've made progress with improving examination results at GCSE and A-level and fewer young people are leaving school without a qualification. But there is still more to do."
"This new implementation plan sets out our ambitious reform agenda.
"It builds on what we have achieved already and outlines what is required of everyone in our education system to drive improvement and raise standards in the future."
The plan aims to improve literacy and numeracy standards and reduce the impact of deprivation on school children.
This is hoped to be achieved through the National Literacy and Numeracy programme which will help set "high expectations" for both teachers and support staff.
There will also be a new qualification for teachers — the Masters in Educational Practice.
Worldwide tests for 15-year- olds carried out in 2009 via the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), which showed that out of 67 countries, Wales was ranked 38th for reading, 40th for maths and 30th for science, were a "wake-up call" to the education system in Wales, which had become "complacent and was "falling short", according to Mr Andrews.