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A-level students reap rewards of hard work



Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 12.06.39STUDENTS across Carmarthenshire have once again continued to demonstrate great success at both A and AS Levels. 

The overall Carmarthenshire pass rate at A Level was 98.3% compared with the national Welsh average of 97.3%.

In the combined top grades of A* and A, Carmarthenshire students achieved 26.4% in comparison with the Welsh average of 22.7%.

With a performance at 79% at A* to C, the county’s students surpassed the Welsh average of 73.8%.

The overall Carmarthenshire pass rate at AS level reached 87.2% in comparison with the Welsh average of 88.3%.

Executive Board Member for Education, Cllr Gareth Jones, said: “On behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council, I warmly congratulate all of our students on their achievements this year.

“Standards gained in this year’s examinations are excellent. As a council, we gratefully acknowledge the dedication and support provided by their families and schools for whom today will be a very proud day.

“The continued high standards achieved this year reflect the commitment of the authority through its schools, colleges and support services to all of our young people in providing them with every opportunity to achieve their full potential. We wish them all well for the future.”

At A level, 1,282 students sat the exams and 1,324 students at AS level. At A level, 79% achieved grade C or higher, with 57.7% at grade C or higher for the AS level.

Director for Education and Children’s Services, Rob Sully, added: “Once again, our results this year clearly demonstrate the considerable effort and admirable achievement of all individual students – both they and their families deserve our warmest congratulations.

“These are indeed very pleasing and positive results for Carmarthenshire. I am particularly pleased to see the excellent performance at the highest grades of A* and A and the 100% pass rates across a number of subjects, including Mathematics, Welsh and English.

“They provide strong evidence that our provision is successful in supporting all of our learners to reach their full potential.

“I sincerely congratulate and thank everyone involved in today’s success.”

Students at Coleg Sir Gâr are celebrating another excellent set of A-level results.

The percentage of A* – E grades was again extremely high at 98%, with 22 out of 29 subjects posting a 100% pass rate.

Students on the A-level Academic, Cultural, Excellence (ACE) programme achieved outstanding results with three out of four examination entries yielding either an A* or A grade, enabling them to go to their first choice of university, including those within the Sutton 30 Group.

Head of A-levels and Access, Mrs Vanessa Cashmore, said: “We are delighted at the success of our students and this reflects the hard work and effort of students and staff over the last two years of study at the college.

“On behalf of all staff at the college, we wish our learners every success as they go to the very best universities across the United Kingdom and into employment.”

Matthew Howells, a former Coedcae Comprehensive School student, obtained an A* grade in Mathematics, an A in Further Maths, an A in History and an A in Law. Matthew is hoping to study Maths at Cardiff University.

Former St John Lloyd pupil and Coleg Sir Gâr Student Union President and Corporate Board Member, Siôn Davies, who obtained an A in Welsh, an A in Biology and a B in English Language and Literature is going to Manchester University to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Coedcae student Patrick Irwin is going to Birmingham University to study Engineering after obtaining an A* grade in Further Mathematics, an A in Maths, an A in Chemistry and an A in Physics.

Budding anthropologist Ella Bailey from Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen obtained an A* in Geography, an A in World Development and a B grade in History and will be going to university to continue her studies.

Sophie Joseph, a former Bryngwyn student, is going to study Law at university after obtaining an A grade in Sociology, an A in History and an A in Law.

Mr Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr Principal, said: “It is great to see our students performing consistently well and to a high standard.

“Performances in A-level Mathematics and Geography are particularly strong this year.

“These A Level results, along with an equally strong performance in the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, will see our learners continue to progress to the very best universities and their chosen careers.

“High grades on vocational programmes coupled with tremendous success in national skills competitions will enable vocational learners to progress to university, higher level apprenticeships and future employment.

“This year’s excellent performance on academic and vocational courses reflects the progression of students from the strong foundations laid in partner schools in Carmarthenshire and beyond. On behalf of the college, I wish them the very best for the future.”

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Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June



ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services



MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre



LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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