Welsh government makes U-turn on A-level and GCSE results

Wales has joined Scotland and Northern Ireland and confirmed that students will be awarded their centre assessment grades, with England expected to follow suit shortly.

Wales’s education minister, Kirsty Williams, said given decisions that had already been taken elsewhere she had decided to press ahead with teacher assessment.

Williams said: “Working with Qualifications Wales and WJEC we have sought an approach which provides fairness and balances out differences in the standards applied to judgments in schools.

“Given decisions elsewhere, the balance of fairness now lies with awarding centre assessment grades to students, despite the strengths of the system in Wales.

“I am taking this decision now ahead of results being released this week, so that there is time for the necessary work to take place.

“For grades issued last week, I have decided that all awards in Wales will also be made on the basis of teacher assessment.

“For those young people, for whom our system produced higher grades than those predicted by teachers, the higher grades will stand.

“Maintaining standards is not new for 2020, it is a feature of awarding qualifications every year in Wales, and across the UK.

“However, it is clear that maintaining confidence in our qualifications whilst being fair to students requires this difficult decision.

“These have been exceptional circumstances, and in due course I will be making a further statement on an independent review of events following the cancellation of this year’s exams.

“Other awarding bodies across the UK are involved in determining the approach to vocational qualifications. This continues to be the case but it is important that I give assurance to GCSE, AS and A-level student at the earliest opportunity.”

Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, commenting on the Welsh government’s move, said: “Boris Johnson must now follow the lead of the Welsh government which has acted to ensure young people in Wales get the qualifications they deserve.
“The PM must get a grip on the situation in England now, and end the historic injustice that he is imposing on young people across the country.”

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