ColegauCymru urges joint working to find a solution for 2021 examination series

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As we approach the publication date for the interim findings of the Independent review of the arrangements for awarding grades for the 2020 summer exam series, and considerations for 2021, ColegauCymru is today urging all parties to continue to work together and to take the time to listen and respond to the recommendations of the Panel in their entirety. 

Leading the Review is Director of the Open University in Wales Louise Casella, who has sought the views of a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that lessons are learned from this year. 

The Minister for Education Kirsty Williams says she will announce a decision on next summer's GCSE and A level exams on 10th November. Ahead of this announcement, Qualifications Wales Chief Executive Philip Blaker has already confirmed that they are looking at "moving away from timetabled exams" to offer a "performance experience”. 

ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said, 

“It is vital that the Minister is given the benefit of being able to listen and fully respond to the findings and recommendations of the Casella Review Panel. The Minister must be able to make an informed decision for the benefit of learners in Wales, in the context of both academic and vocational qualifications.” 

Reflecting on the need to continue to work together toward a solution, Chair of ColegauCymru Curriculum and Quality Group Kay Martin added, 

“The FE sector urges the regulator Qualifications Wales, the individual awarding bodies as well as schools and colleges to continue to work together to arrive at a workable solution to the challenge of examinations and assessments. With so much disruption already experienced by pupils and learners and uncertain times still ahead, it is imperative that a way forward is set out by all partners.” 

Regardless of the solution chosen, it must be co-constructed with the interests the learners at the heart of the decision-making process. Those who are delivering or undertaking both academic and vocational qualification assessments in summer 2021 will rightly expect a better prepared experience than that which was seen in 2020. We must not let them down. 

Further Information

Welsh Government Cabinet Statement 
Written Statement: Independent review of the arrangements for awarding grades for the 2020 summer exam series, and considerations for 2021 
28 August 2020 

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