While the Class of 2018 has apparently produced Walesâ€™ best-ever A-Level results, despite excellent individual and whole-school performances, the overall picture in Bridgend has seen pass rates in the top grades fall back again.
Slightly worryingly, the fall in top A-A grades is much sharper than last year, falling by 2.4% in 2018 compared to 1.4% in 2017. Itâ€™s also 6.3% behind the all-Wales average for A-A.
Bridgend has also fallen behind the all-Wales average (76.3%) for the A*-C pass rate after dropping 2.5% compared to 2017.
The good news is that performances in the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate (which is the equivalent of an additional A-Level) exceeded expectations, with 26.8% of students achieving either an A*-A.
Commenting on the results, Council Leader, Cllr. Huw David (Lab, Cefn Cribwr) said:
â€œThis yearâ€™s results have demonstrated strong performance across all levels. I would like to congratulate pupils and students on their hard-earned success, and thank teachers, governors and parents for their unwavering dedication and support.â€�
Cabinet Member for Education & Regeneration, Cllr. Charles Smith (Lab, Llangewydd & Brynhyfryd) was looking forward to next yearâ€™s results:
â€œThis yearâ€™s AS Level results were also extremely positive. As they make up 40 per cent of A Levels, this yearâ€™s grades bode really well for next year as so many pupils already have a strong set of results in the bag.â€�
Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen â€“ which was in special measures only a few years ago â€“ was singled out for praise, having seen a respective 9.5% and 20.8% jump in the number of A-A and A-C grades awarded, with 84% of pupils getting into their first choice university.
At Bryntirion, 91% of pupils achieved an A-C grade and 40% achieved an A-A, while at Brynteg many pupils achieved what is described as â€œabove their predicted levelâ€� with a particularly strong performance in vocational BTEC qualifications.
Maesteg Comprehensive and Ysgol Gyfun Llangynwyd both had 100% pass rates, with 60% of Maesteg pupils getting at least two A-C grades and 20% of pupils at Llangwynwyd getting at least one A-A.
At Archbishop McGrath RC School, 25% of pupils achieved 3 or more A grades, while at Cynffig 70% of passes were at A*-C grades.
32.5% of passes at Porthcawl were at A-A, while Penybont Sixth Form College (Pencoed) was said to have seen an improvement in pass rates and grades compared to 2017. Students at St Clareâ€™s private school achieved an A-C pass rate of 92%, with 40.5% of grades at either A* or A.