Entries drop as fewer teens are of relevant age.
A.LEVEL and AS entries have fallen dramatically in Wales in the last three years and it's partly because there are fewer teenagers taking fewer of them.
This summer A-level entries dived 12.6% from 38,480 in 2015 to 33,640. At the same time AS entries dropped 21% from a high of 57,020 in 2015 to 44,995 this summer. A-level entries this year dropped 5.3% compared to last year, with 35,525 taken in 2017.
While A-level entries are down overall some subjects are showing an increase, including art and design, biology, design and technology and Welsh first language, up 8% compared to a fall of 15% in entries for A-level Welsh second language.
A-level entries for chemistry and physics are down 3% each, while entries for computing are up 3%. Entries for modern foreign languages and history are continuing the decline in recent years.
Independent qualifications regulator Qualifications Wales says there's no cause for alarm and the fall in A- and AS-level entries overall could be caused by factors including a smaller population size in the relevant age groups, reducing the number of students who could choose to enter these qualifications, a fall in the average number of qualifications taken, and an increase in students choosing to start apprenticeships.
The regulator pointed out that most AS-level entries are by 17-year-olds, whereas most A-level entries are by 18-yearolds and according to both the ONS and Welsh Government statistics, these age groups have decreased in size since 2015.