Qualifications Wales confirms centre determined grades for summer 2021

Qualifications Wales has confirmed that following the Minister for Education’s policy direction on the assessment approach for Summer 2021, it will change its regulations for approved GCSE, AS and A levels in Wales to allow grades to be determined by schools and colleges.

Philip Blaker, Chief Executive of Qualifications Wales said: “We know that learners are anxious to understand how qualifications will be awarded this summer, and that teachers and lecturers in schools and colleges want to understand what it means for them.  

“Having worked with the Minister’s Design and Delivery Advisory group, and reflecting the Minister’s policy decision, we are changing our regulations for approved GCSE, AS and A levels in Wales to allow grades to be determined by schools and colleges – centre-determined grades. We now believe this is the best way to award grades in the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic.”

Teachers and lecturers will determine the grades for learners using a range of evidence, which could include standardised material that WJEC will make available for them, but there will be no formal external assessments.

“We will work with WJEC to put in place an assessment framework to support schools and colleges in developing their assessment plans and processes for determining learner grades,” said Mr Blaker. “WJEC will develop and operate a quality assurance process to confirm that schools and colleges have appropriate procedures in place. 

“The focus now is to develop the detailed arrangements as soon as possible and we will work collaboratively with WJEC and others to implement this approach.  

“Today’s announcement does not include vocational and technical qualifications, which are being considered separately. We will work with the awarding bodies offering Wales-only vocational qualifications to reflect these arrangements in those qualifications and will continue to work with our fellow regulators to determine the arrangements for vocational and technical qualifications offered across the UK. Ofqual are currently consulting on proposals.”