RESULTS in Wales were the ‘best they’ve ever been’, the First Minister has said.

Thousands of young people across the UK anxiously received their A-Level results after all summer exams were cancelled at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools were forced to close when lockdown restrictions began and for the first time in history, pupils received their results which would determine whether they would get into the university of their choice, without being graded on the exams they revised so hard for.

After pupils received their results on Thursday, August 13, many families were left disappointed with their grades and the system used.

Calls were made for a ‘u-turn’ after reports of students receiving A-level grades lower than they expected.

Scotland's Education Secretary John Swinne announced exam results downgraded by a controversial moderation process will revert to the grades estimated by pupils' teachers.

Flintshire councillor Paul Shotton said he feels something similar should happen in Wales.

However, First Minister Mark Drakeford said he believed that pupils were not treated unfairly and the majority of pupils were not left disappointed.

In an exclusive interview, he said: “94 per cent of young people in Wales either got what their teacher anticipates they would get or one grade either side of that central estimate.

“Uniquely in the UK, we were able to say to young people that we would guarantee they would do no worse than their AS-Level results.

“We had record numbers of young people accepted into university and the results in Wales were the best they’ve ever been.”

The six North Wales councils have asked for reassurance from Welsh Government that pupils in the region would not miss opportunities when compared to their peers in other countries.

Mr Drakeford said that was an ‘important case’ and the government has been ‘watching very carefully’ what other parts of the UK have done earlier in the week.

He added: “Young people for A-Levels in Wales are undoubtedly competing against young people in other parts of the UK for university places. That’s been very much in my mind.

“I’m grateful to the universities in Wales and also to the UCAS system which sent an email to every single admissions tutor in every university, every subject, on our behalf, explaining to them that as a minimum, young people in Wales will have AS-Level grades.

“And they were sent to them for every young person who had applied. I think that’s part of why we saw that a record number of people in Wales were accepted by their university on the very first day.

“More young people will follow as the clearing system gets under way. Numbers are up in Welsh Universities from Welsh students and we are also seeing a record number of young people accepted in English universities.”

As school pupils are set to receive their GCSE results next week, tensions are running high on what can be expected.

However, Mr Drakeford said they are working hard to ensure plans run smoothly and pupils are not left disappointed.

He said: “We are working very hard to make sure we have learnt the lessons of this week. But we are talking with Qualifications Wales as well as the exam board ahead of next Thursday, to try and make sure that the safeguards we think worked well for us this week, we can do similar things for next week.

“And to make sure that young people feel the results they get are as good as they hope they will be and make sure that doesn’t stand in the way of them moving on in the next stage of their education.”