GCSE exam performance up again in Cardiff

Provisional GCSE results released today show continuing improvement in Cardiff. 

This year, 3,145 students sat their GCSE exams in Cardiff's schools, and the provisional results show that 60.2 percent of pupils achieved at least five A* to C grades, including mathematics and English or Welsh (known as the Level 2+ indicator). This is up on the 58.5 percent that was achieved in 2017. 

For the Level 2 indicator (5 or more GCSEs at A* to C), Cardiff's performance improved to 72.5 percent, compared to 69.9 percent in 2017. Level 1 (5 or more GCSE grades A* to G) has risen to 93.9 percent, from 93.2 percent last year. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "Congratulations to everyone who collected their GCSE results this year. It is a significant milestone in the lives of our children and young people, marking the culmination of many years of hard work. I wish all the students every success in the future, as they move on to further education, employment or training. 

"Education is a key priority for the city and it is encouraging to see the continued improvement in education standards in Cardiff. In 2013, less than half of our students sitting their GCSEs reached the key Level 2+ standard. Today that proportion stands at 60 percent and the underlying trend suggests the significant and sustained improvement we have seen over the last five years will continue." 

A new set of GCSE qualifications in Wales for mathematics, numeracy, English language, Welsh language, English literature and Welsh literature, along with new rules for reporting school performance measures were introduced in 2017. 

All results are provisional at the time of writing, based on data from all examinations boards. 

Some examples of GCSE successes from around the city 


  • 59% of pupils' having secured GCSE maths with A* - C grades.
  • 58% of pupils secured GCSE English Language with A* - C grades, a 12% point improvement on last year.
  • The percentage of pupils who achieved 5 GCSEs A* - C has risen again to 61%.
  • The percentage who achieved 5 A* - G grades has increased slightly to 97%.
  • 73% of pupils secured A* - C in the Skills Challenge Certificate within the Welsh Baccalaureate.
  • The percentage of pupils who achieved 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics has held at 46%.

Cardiff High School

  • 88.5% of students achieved at least five A*-C grades, including English and Mathematics
  • 46% achieved at least five A* to A grades including English and maths
  • 23 students achieved at least nine top A* grades


Cardiff West Community High School

  • Over 90% of students achieved the Level 1 indicator.
  • Compared with predecessor schools, best ever results for girls achieving 5 GCSEs, including English and Mathematics, improved performance in boys' attainment overall and significant improvements in the number of students achieving at least 5 GCSEs including English and Maths.

Eastern High

  • Continued improvement, with an 8 percentage point rise in those gaining 5 A* to C grades, including English and Mathematics.
  • Represents the highest attainment at the school (and predecessor schools)
  • Significant rise in the number of students gaining A* and A grades.

Fitzalan High School

  • More than 40 pupils secured 5 or more A*-A grades. Muaad Eghlileb was the top performer with an impressive 14 A*s and 1 A grade.  This beats the previous record held by his brother Mohamed, who went on to study medicine at Pembroke College, Oxford. Amitha Jha also gained 12 A*s and 2 A grades. Both pupils will be going to study mostly science subjects at Fitzalan.

Radyr Comprehensive School

  • The proportion of pupils achieving at least 5 A*/A grades has increased to 35%.
  • 79% of pupils achieving 5 A* to C grades including Maths and English
  • 21 pupils achieved 5 or more A* grades, with 9 of these achieving 9 or more A*s.
  • Among these results, notable performances include: Will Couston (13A*s and 1A); Charlotte Innes (12A*s and 2As) Emelia Whiles (11A*s and 3 As); Emily Williams (11A*s and 3As); Abigail Hall (10 A*s, 3As and 1B); Catrin Lewis (10A*s and 5As); April Spiteri (10A*s, 4As and 1B); Sammy Peacock (9A*s and 5As); Amy Shefferd (9A*s and 2As).

St Teilo's Church in Wales High School

  • Students have attained the highest grades in the school's history across every performance measure.
  • Almost 70% of students achieved A* to C across English, Mathematics and Science
  • Among the many pupils celebrating are Nada Ammar and Alaa Cattaeh (14 A*/A), Millie Searing and Oliver Smith (13 A*/A), Maisha Chowdhury (12 A*/A) and Ewan Falcon and Matthew Tyler-Howells (10 A*/A). Congratulations are also deserved by Sania Chowdhury, Kian Cook, Milan Jacob, Can Oran, Emily Pearcey, Keiran Thomas and Bethan Watkins who attained 8 or more A*/A grades.

Whitchurch High School

  • Overall results are sustained or improved on last year, with over 70% at Level 2+ (5A*C with English and Mathematics) and 85% of students attaining 5 GCSE or equivalent qualifications, the best in the school's history. 
  • Over a third of all students achieved 5 or more A or A* grades, with 39 students topping 10 A or A* grades. 
  • Five students secured 9 or more A* grades

Willows High School

  • There was an increase in results this year in all key indicators.
  • The school is particularly proud of the success it continues to have in reducing the achievement gap between its Free School Meal and Non Free School Meal pupils, as well as the successes of the pupils to whom English is an additional language.
  • Individuals who did exceptionally well include the school's highest achieving pupil, Daisy Stinton who gained 11 GCSEs at A* to B; Ffyon Harding, a young carer who achieved 12 GCSEs with grades A*- B and Bianca Moreira, who joined the school in Year 9 unable to speak English, who leaves with 13 GCSEs with grades A*-C.

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glan Taf

  • 49% of all students achieved 5A*to A, which is an increase 3 percentage points on last year and the school's best ever outcome in this indicator.
  • 79% of all students achieved the Level 2+ indicator, exceeding last year's performance by 5 percentage points.
  • 88% of all students achieved 5 A*-C, while 100% achieved 5 A*-G.
  • While there are too many individual successes to note, the following results are particularly noteworthy: Efan Owen 16 A*; Rhys Newton 13 A*& 1A; Tegid Phillips  11A* & 3A; Ffion Rees 11A* & 3A; Daniel Thomas  11A* & 3A; Tom Price 11A*,  2 A, 2B; Ismay Evans 11A*,  2 A, 1B; Elen Boore 10A*,  4 A, 1B; Alaw Donovan 10A*,  4 A; Esyllt Parry-Lowther 10A*, 4A; Seren Rayment 10A*, 4A; Eirlys Lovell-Jones 10A*, 1A , 1B.

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr

  • An excellent set of results, amongst the best in the school's 20 year history.
  • 30% of the year group have attained 5 or more A* and A grades, and 87% of the year group have attained 5 or more A*- C grades across all subjects.
  • The following pupils have performed  exceptionally well and have attained a remarkable 9 or more A* grades:  Anellie Beare, Eleri Davies, Rachel Davies, Catrin John, Cadi Jones, Twm Richards, Steffan Rowlands, Rebecca Saunders, Rhiannon Spannaus, Elin Williams.