The Speaker
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 – 15:43

Teacher assessed grades to be used for GCSE, AS & A-Levels in Wales due to pandemic

Learners in Wales due to complete GCSE, AS and A-Levels this academic year will receive centre-assessed grades, Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced.

A system to replace end-of-year exams with alternative classroom assessments has now been scrapped, with Ms Williams saying that the pandemic had left her “no choice” but to cancel plans for classroom assessments due to further disruptions to face-to-face teaching.

Under the new plans, similar to those used in summer 2020, schools and colleges will be able to use “a range of evidence to determine the grades to be awarded to their learners, including Non-Examination Assessment elements, mock-exams, and classwork”, the Minister has confirmed. Exam board WJEC will also offer a set of adapted past papers so that schools can continue to assess their pupils.

It has also been announced that WJEC coursework and non-exam assessment deadlines are being removed and will no longer be moderated by the exam board.

Learners will able to appeal to their school or college in the case that they are not satisfied with their awarded grade.

Speaking in a video released on Twitter, the Education 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.

The Minister also thanked “each and every learner and education professional for their ongoing flexibility and adaptability in responding to this incredibly difficult situation”.

Schools are currently closed to most pupils in Wales as part of the Level 4 national lockdown measures, resulting in more disruption to face-to-face learning. Most students are currently being taught remotely, however, the children of key workers and vulnerable learners can still attend the classroom in most cases.

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