Posted: Wed 20th Jan 2021

Teachers are set to decide GCSE, AS and A-level grades in Wales – Education Minister confirms

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jan 20th, 2021

Learners in Wales studying for Qualifications Wales approved GCSE, AS and A levels this year will receive grades determined by their school or college, based on work they have completed over their course.

This policy decision was confirmed by Education Minister Kirsty Williams today (Wednesday, January 20) following further disruption to face-to-face learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement followed recommendations from the design and delivery advisory Group that is made up of head teachers and college leaders.

The group was established in December by the Minister to ‘support wellbeing, fairness and progression’ for learners taking exams this year.

Speaking in a video released on her Twitter channel, the Minister said: “The worsening situation with the pandemic has meant we have no choice but to revisit our approach to ensure wellbeing and public confidence in our qualifications system.

“The proposals we are announcing today puts trust in teachers’ and lecturers’ knowledge of their learners’ work, as well as their commitment to prioritise teaching and learning in the time available to support learners’ progression.

“Teaching the core content and aspects of each course remains my absolute priority for learners in exam years, so they are supported to progress with certainty into their next steps, with confidence in their grades.

“We are working with higher education institutions to look at how we can support learners through this transition, and can provide a bridge into university courses.

“I would like to thank each and every learner and education professional for their ongoing flexibility and adaptability in responding to this incredibly difficult situation. Their continuing commitment in the face of adversity is admirable, as is their individual and collective contribution to the national effort against Covid-19.”

Suzy Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Education – said: “While this WJEC-designed framework is not what we had hoped for, and is not as good as a more formal externally set and marked programme, it’s a solid attempt to preserve consistency and quality of not just testing but also assessing.

“However, it’s also an acknowledgement that online learning hasn’t been cutting the mustard, despite a slimmed-down syllabus and some excellent examples of schools doing that really well – and we’ll have to wait a whole week before we can scrutinise the Minister on this decision.”

You can read the full statement here: https://gov.wales/written-statement-update-general-qualifications-2021-0

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