THE pass rate for Torfaen's A-levels this year was 98.4 per cent, slightly up from 98.3 per cent last year and above the Welsh average.

Pupils achieving A*-A dipped to 16.1 per cent from 23.4 per cent last year, below the Wales figure of 23.3 per cent.

At AS-level, the percentage of pupils gaining A-E grades has dipped slightly to 88 per cent this year from 88.6 per cent last year, above the Wales figure of 85.7 per cent.

Cllr David Yeowell, cabinet member for children and young people, said they were "fantastic" results.

At West Monmouth School, which does not have a sixth form, 14 pupils from Year 11 achieved AS Level ICT early, the school said, while at Fairwater High School, head of sixth form Claire Agar said she believed the school had achieved 100 per cent pass rate at A Level.

Top performers included Amelia Cobner with 1 A*, 2 As and 1 C and who will study English Literature at Swansea; Joe Taylor with 1 A and 2 Bs and who will study chemistry at Swansea; and identical twins Hollie and Lydia Boxall who both got into their first choice universities.

With 1 A*, 2 As and a B, Hollie will study photography at Bath Spa while Lydia will study fashion design at the University of South Wales, with 2 As and 2 Bs.

The twins’ mum Claire Boxall said: “They are absolutely over the moon. I’m very proud – I’m speechless, to be honest. They worked hard and their results are well deserved.”

Jeff Savory, assistant head teacher at Llantarnam School, said he was pleased with their rate of 98 per cent of pupils achieving at least two A Levels or advanced qualifications.

Over 50 students would be going on to university, he said.

Among high achievers were Amee Tennant who got A*s in biology and maths and an A in geography and will be going on to Bath University and Stuart Walding who got A*s in biology and maths and As in chemistry and physics and hopes to study medicine.

At Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw they had not yet calculated their overall pass rate but top performer Charlotte Stephens, from Talywain, got an A* in politics, A in economics and B in chemistry, together with the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and an A in maths that she took a year early. With 12 GCSEs she will go to Mansfield College, Oxford, to study politics, philosophy and economics.

At Croesyceiliog sixth form 20 per cent of students achieved A*-A; 70 per cent achieved A*-C; and 98 per cent got A* to E.

Of 82 pupils in the sixth form, 73 have taken up places at university.

Rachel Spencer, head of sixth form, said they were "delighted" with the result.

"We have had lots of tears of joy," she said. "They have been a pleasure as a year group.”