Covid cancels 2021 GCSE and A-Level exams in Wales

10 November 2020, 12:00 | Updated: 10 November 2020, 12:48

By Kate Buck

GCSE and A-level exams in Wales have been cancelled due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been confirmed.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams instead said teacher managed assessments will instead replace formal examinations.

Teachers will also have flexibility when it is best to undertake the assessments.

Exams were cancelled across all of the UK this year after schools were closed in an attempt to keep the pandemic under control.

Exams were cancelled across all of the UK this year after schools were closed in an attempt to keep the pandemic under control.

The Minister said: “The full approach to this will be developed by school and college leaders, supported by Welsh Government and advised by Qualifications Wales and WJEC.

GCSE and A-level exams in Wales have been cancelled
GCSE and A-level exams in Wales have been cancelled. Picture: PA

“My policy intention is that this will form the basis for centre-based outcomes which will be linked to an agreed national approach to provide consistency across Wales to assure universities and colleges of our approach.

“This work will be completed in the autumn term to provide time for implementation from January and we envisage that the first assessment activities will not commence until the latter half of the spring term.”

The Minister also reiterated that a £50 million package of support has been put in place to support learners in exam years to develop the skills and knowledge they need to confidently progress.

The Minister added: “This remains a highly challenging year and what I have announced today sets a course which removes pressures from learners and provides clear time for teaching and learning.

“I now look to our schools, colleges, qualifications bodies, and the wider education sector to work cooperatively and collaboratively through the year to support our learners and enable them to progress with confidence.”

The situation for Vocational Qualifications is more complex and will require extra work.

The Minister confirmed Welsh Government officials would continue to support Qualifications Wales as they work closely with other regulators to ensure a ‘pragmatic approach that works in learners’ interests and gives them clarity about the way forward.’

David Evans, Wales secretary of the union, said: "We welcome that minister has made on an announcement on this - it is critical that we don't have a repeat of what happened this summer, which was exceptionally difficult for those who should have been taking exams.

"We must ensure that young people have a consistent assessment process in place which means their abilities are recognised for their next steps.

"But this must not mean extra work for everyone involved - both staff and students alike. The education system is already struggling.

"We only have a term and a half for young people before next summer's grades are awarded. So, we need as much flexibility in the system as possible now, as we know this is not a normal year, and young people will likely have times when they are at home learning."

More to follow...

Comments

Loading...