Collaboration and cooperation essential to ensure successful assessments in summer 2021

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ColegauCymru is calling for cooperation and collaboration between all parts of the education sector following today’s announcement by the Minister for Education on the provision of examinations and assessment for academic qualifications in summer 2021.

This is a welcome announcement which provides clarity on the way ahead for learners. It will also now be possible for teaching staff to appropriately plan to ensure the best possible outcomes as we continue to navigate these uncertain times. The Minister must ensure sufficient flexibility to allow the sector to be able to adapt to what is likely to be a continually changing and disruptive education landscape of local lockdowns, fire breaks, and self-isolation.

Concern remains over unanswered questions in relation to vocational and technical qualification programmes.

ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said,

“We need to ensure that assessment of technical subjects is equally flexible. These subjects must be able to adapt to the changing education and employment environment that the pandemic has caused. Awarding bodies who specialise in technical and vocational qualifications must ensure that their approach to assessment allows learners to be able to progress into work or further study.”

“Further disruption is likely if not inevitable. The Welsh Government must put in place financial and practical support for the new academic year and reflect this in the budget set from 1st April 2021.”

ColegauCymru Chair Dafydd Evans added,

“We are encouraged to learn that a decision on the provision of examinations and assessment for the summer 2021 series has been made. It is reassuring to know that the first assessment activities will not commence until the latter half of the spring term, and that such activities will be based on the outcome of a working group that has strong representation from the FE sector. Further, the government’s engagement with UK universities has resulted in the assurance that today’s announcement will not disadvantage Welsh learners”.

Learners and staff alike now need detailed plans for the coming months to be put in place and communicated at the earliest possible opportunity. All decisions must be co-constructed, and solution led. ColegauCymru is committed to continuing to work closely with the Minister, government colleagues and other stakeholders to reach a speedy and workable solution. We will do this with the needs of the learners firmly at the heart of all decision-making.

Further Information

Welsh Government Press Release
Wales’ approach for qualifications in 2021 confirmed by Education Minister Kirsty Williams
10 November 2020

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