(Image - Adrian White photography at Gower College Swansea)
ColegauCymru welcomes the Minister for Education’s announcement that qualifications in Wales will now be awarded on the basis of Centre Assessment Grades (CAGs). Although not without problems, we believe that this is the fairest approach which trusts the professional judgement of teachers and will ensure that learners in Wales will not be disadvantaged compared to learners in other UK nations.
College staff have worked tirelessly over recent weeks and months, meticulously following set guidelines and their own robust internal processes to ensure the fair and accurate grading of qualifications.
ColegauCymru Chair Dafydd Evans said,
“The time, effort and dedication that lecturers and curriculum leaders have put into the awarding process to ensure its accuracy has been unprecedented and considerable. We are grateful that their efforts have now been recognised both by Welsh Government and Qualifications Wales.”
2020 has been a difficult year, with the education sector having to face a number of challenges. Although not a perfect solution, the move goes a long way to lessen the stress on learners, their families and staff alike. It also now allows for progression.
There however remain a number of unresolved issues. ColegauCymru seeks urgent clarification on the status of vocational awards including whether the CAG approach will also apply here. We also seek to address missing vocational results and to ensure learners waiting to complete assessment can do so at the earliest opportunity. We further seek clarity on the status of 2020 AS resit grades.
ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said,
“We very much welcome today’s announcement, and thank the Minister for responding to the collective concerns of learners, their families and the wider education sector. We are also grateful to the Learner Services Staff at our colleges who are and continue to work exceptionally hard supporting and advising students during this difficult period.”
It will be essential to review the process of developing and awarding qualification results for the summer 2020 series that looks in detail at whether and why particular groups of learners had their results downgraded. This should be done with a view to learning lessons and developing better data analysis and prediction in future.
ColegauCymru is committed to working closely with government colleagues, Qualifications Wales and WJEC to outline and plan how examination and assessment will likely take place in summer 2021.