THE Education Secretary has offered her congratulations to student across North Wales celebrating their GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results today (August 25).

The record levels of A*-C, a high point achieved in the previous two years, has been maintained and there has been an increase in those achieving the top grades.

Statistics show:

The proportion of A*- A has increased by 0.2 percentage points compared to last year, and stands at 19.4 per cent.

There has been an increase A* grades, which have gone up by 0.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

An overall pass rate at A*-C of 66.6 per cent, meaning around two thirds of all pupils achieving A*-C passes.

The overall pass rate A*-G is 98.7 per cent, the same as last year.

Mathematics results for Wales for 16 year olds over the full academic year 2015-16 show improvements across all grades with A*-C pass rates now at 65.5 per cent.

More than 14,000 learners being awarded a Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma.

A 0.4 percentage point increase on the number of learners completing their Welsh Baccalaureate at intermediate level compared to 2015 levels.

Almost 12,000 learners achieving the full Intermediate Diploma.

Ms Williams said: "I want to congratulate the thousands of young people receiving their results. This year’s GCSEs show another strong performance with two thirds of our learners achieving at least A*-C and an increase in the top grades. This is due to the hard work of our pupils and their teachers.

“The performance of our individual science subjects remains high when compared with the UK results and entry levels have also increased. Our Welsh Baccalaureate performance is also excellent with more than 14,000 pupils now having extra skills and experiences that give them an edge in an increasingly competitive world.

“Teachers and pupils can be proud that Wales has maintained our record pass rate. I will continue to focus on raising standards and ambitions for excellence across all our schools.”

GCSEs in Wales are changing; six GCSE subjects with first teaching already started in September 2015 have been reformed - English Language, Welsh Language, English Literature, Welsh Literature, Mathematics Numeracy and Mathematics.

The November 2016 and summer 2017 exams will reflect these new qualifications.