Cardiff Council Update: 25 August 2023

Here is our latest update, covering:

  • The results are in - Cardiff pupils outperform GSCE Wales average.
  • City Hall temporary closure - the building will be shut over the winter for essential maintenance.
  • Adult Learning inspection - Estyn praise for the community education provision.
  • New cricket pitches - five new all-weather community pitches across the city, with more planned over the next two years.


GCSE Exam Results in Cardiff are above the Welsh average

Based on the provisional results announced today, 29.3% percent of GCSE results for 2023 are graded A* to A in WJEC examinations, compared to the Wales figure of 21.7% percent.

The percentage of GCSE entries resulting in C grades is 70.9% percent, which is above the Wales figure of 64.9% percent.

For entries graded A* to G, the 2023 figure for Cardiff is 97% percent, compared to the Wales figure of 96.9%. Cardiff saw more than 33,000 entries for WJEC GCSE's this year.

The national picture across Wales is that results fall broadly midway between those awarded in 2019 and 2022.  This means, for each subject, results at national level are higher than they were in 2019, and lower than they were in 2022 where additional measures were put in place. Results are not comparable to previous years.

This year marks the second year that learners have completed formal exams and assessments since 2019, moving towards the return of pre-pandemic examination arrangements. The WJEC has given consideration to the disruption learners have experienced when deciding grade boundaries and Qualifications Wales have confirmed a national approach to results rather than school-specific.

Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: "I would like to congratulate all of Cardiff pupils who are receiving their results today.

"As Cardiff and the rest of Wales gradually transition back to pre-pandemic grading, this is only the second year that formal exams and assessments have returned since the pandemic, it is important that this cohort are acknowledged for the way in which they continued to adapt, showing resilience and determination despite the challenges and disruption they may have faced during the last few years of school education.

"It is fantastic to see Cardiff's overall grades are above the Welsh average and to hear of so many stories of success from across the city.  GCSE results day is a real milestone for our young people and I wish them the very best of luck for the future."

A wealth of information on education, employment, training and other opportunities is available all in one place for young people in Cardiff considering their next steps ahead of this week's exam results day.

Read more here


City Hall to close in winter for planned maintenance works

Cardiff's iconic City Hall is to close temporarily this winter to enable essential infrastructure work to be carried out on the Grade I-listed building and preserve it for future generations.

Built of Portland Stone and opened in 1906, the building was the first council headquarters to be known as City Hall - following Cardiff's elevation to city status in 1905 - and in recent years has been used as a register office and for wedding celebrations and other private functions. Much of the infrastructure in the historic building is now due for an upgrade, and the work over the winter will see a new heating and ventilation system installed.

During the closure, expected to last until Spring 2024, Register Office weddings will be relocated to the equally historic Insole Court, while all other register office functions will be based at the Glamorgan Archives building near to the Cardiff City Stadium.

Functions organisers will be offered alternative locations for their events, and the monthly full council meetings, which normally take place in the City Hall Chamber, will be held at County Hall. Staff based in the City Hall offices will also be temporarily relocated.

Read more here


Adult Learning provision praised by education inspectors

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan's adult learning provision has been hailed as "highly effective" after an official inspection.

The review, by Estyn, examined the service provided by the Cardiff and Vale Adult Learning in the Community Partnership, a group made up of Cardiff Council, the Cardiff and Vale College, Vale of Glamorgan Council and Adult Learning Wales.

Together, its 193 part-time and 43 full-time teaching staff provide courses for almost 6,000 learners.

In a positive report, Estyn inspectors said the partnership had a "clear and well-articulated vision for its purpose, direction and provision," adding: "The vision is rooted in its commitment to improving the life chances for adult learners in its diverse communities."

The report makes clear that the Partnership provides far more than education. Learners report that engaging in learning has a positive impact on their lives, through helping them into work, learning a new skill, supporting their children's lives or enriching their own lives through artistic and social activities. The report quoted one learner who said the course helped give her more confidence and self-esteem, as well as providing the opportunity to meet new people. She is now enjoying working as a teaching assistant at her children's school.

Cllr Peter Bradbury, Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Tackling Poverty and Supporting Young People, said the report showed how hard the Partnership staff had worked and demonstrated that it was providing a great service for some of the most vulnerable people in the region.

"On many of the courses, people acquire new skills that not only help them gain employment or progress to further study but also develop their personal skills to support their children or other family members."

Read more here


Cricket stars Fire enthusiasm for new community sports initiative

If you've been inspired by the recent Ashes series and want to give cricket a try - or just rediscover your love of our national summer sport - Cardiff Council has some exciting news for you.

Backed by KP Snacks, the council has supported the installation of five new all-weather community pitches across the city, with more planned over the next two years.

At the official launch of the initiative, in Llandaff Fields, stars from the Welsh Fire Hundred team were on hand to help people get to grips with the game and prove cricket is for everyone.

Alex Hartley, part of the England side that won the 2017 World Cup and now starring for Welsh Fire in the Hundred, joined team-mates Steve Eskinazi, Alex Griffiths and Tom Abell to show off the new pitch. "This is such an exciting time for grassroots cricket across Cardiff," she said. "Having top-class facilities like this can really motivate more people to give cricket a try and get active in the process."

In addition to the Llandaff Fields development, it has funded four other new or refurbished pitches across Cardiff which will be maintained and run by Cardiff Council:

  • Blackweir Fields, off North Road
  • Pontcanna Fields
  • Sevenoaks Park in Grangetown, and
  • Heath Park/Cathays High School

Cllr Jennifer Burke, Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Sports, said: "Taking part in sport brings so many benefits for the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, and the investment in these new non-turf pitches will help us to get even more people playing cricket in Cardiff's parks, even when the weather's not playing ball."

Read more here