The percentage of Powys pupils gaining the highest grades has fallen slightly, figures show.

But exam regulators have warned against making 'simplistic' comparisons with last year's numbers due to large-scale changes in the GCSE requirements.

A total of 18.8% of grades awarded were at A* or A, while the figure climbs to 67.1% at A*-C. 98.2% of grades awarded were passes (A-G).

This year's results represent the first set of figures for 15 reformed Wales-only GCSEs with less assessment and coursework than in previous years, making comparison with previous years difficult.

A statement from Powys County Council said: "These results maintain the high standards seen in previous years’ performance and remain consistently above the all-Wales averages. In addition, many pupils have also achieved equivalent qualifications in vocational subjects.

"At national level there have been considerable changes to GCSE requirements since 2016. These significant changes make direct comparisons with previous years inappropriate. In 2017 A* - C grades in Wales dropped by nearly 4%, with schools in Powys proving more resilient to change as reflected in a corresponding increase of 0.2% at that time.

"All young people have been supported through their local schools in preparation for the changes and continue to receive advice and support through their schools in relation to their ongoing education options."

The overall number of GCSEs sat in Wales this summer has fallen from a high of 298,370 in 2017 to 271,761 this summer, a reduction of 8.9%.

This summer has seen a significant reduction in the cohort taking GCSEs early in Wales compared with 2017, when there was a record entry by Year 10 students.

The sharp fall in early entries this year comes on the back of a change to Welsh Government policy, which means that from summer 2019 only a student’s first result will count towards their school’s performance measures.

"With the scale and complexity of the changes this year, we’d caution against drawing conclusions based on simplistic comparisons between results from this summer and previous years." said Qualifications Wales Chief Executive Philip Blaker.

"There has been a significant shift in the size and nature of the cohort taking GCSE exams this summer, as well as changes to many of the exams themselves, so it’s not possible to draw any firm conclusions from these results."