The Speaker
Wednesday, 24 July 2024 – 21:53

A Level and GCSE grades in Wales to be awarded on the basis of teacher assessments

A-Level, AS and GCSE grades in Wales will now be awarded on the basis of Centre Assessment Grades, Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced.

In a statement on Monday, Ms Williams said;

“Working with Qualifications Wales and WJEC we have sought an approach which provides fairness and balances out differences in the standards applied to judgments in schools.

“Given decisions elsewhere, the balance of fairness now lies with awarding Centre Assessment grades to students, despite the strengths of the system in Wales.

“I am taking this decision now ahead of results being released this week, so that there is time for the necessary work to take place.

“For grades issued last week, I have decided that all awards in Wales, will also be made on the basis of teacher assessment.

“For those young people, for whom our system produced higher grades than those predicted by teachers, the higher grades will stand.

Skills Challenge Certificate and Welsh Baccalaureate grades in Wales will also be affected by the announcement.

The announcement comes following exam grade chaos across the UK as a result of controversial moderation systems. 

With exams cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, A-Level results were estimated based upon teachers predictions, however, about 40% of grades were then moderated, with moderators looking at previous results of each student and their school as a whole. Of those moderated, around 36% were downgraded by at least one grade.

The moderations have caused uproar in recent days, with politicians, teachers and students calling for the UK Government to make changes to protect students’ future prospects. Due to the lowered grades, many students have already lost apprenticeship and university places.

The announcement by Wales’ Education Minister comes following a similar announcement in Northern Ireland, where grades will be solely based on marks provided by teachers. 

An announcement about exam grades in England is expected to be made later on Monday, with continued calls for the government to take action on the crisis.

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