Regulator starts planning for new curriculum

Tuesday 27 Nov 2018

In its latest annual report, Qualifications Wales says with major change ahead its priorities will include maintaining standards and protecting students. 

With reformed GCSEs and A levels currently being introduced and the curriculum due for a major shake-up in the mid-2020s, the regulator is already planning for the changes yet to come. 

“The curriculum timeline set out by Welsh Government means that Wales will need new qualifications for first teaching in September 2025, with grades being awarded in summer 2027,” said Philip Blaker, Chief Executive of Qualifications Wales. 

“That may seem a long way off – especially given that the current round of reforms has not yet been completed. But time marches on and we’re already looking at the next reforms. 

“The new curriculum will be a major focus of our work going forward, and the consultation we’re planning in summer 2019 marks the start of that work.” 

Vocational qualifications are also the subject of widespread review, both in Wales and England, said Mr Blaker. 

“Here in Wales we’re conducting a number of sector reviews, including construction and the built environment where we’re working on a raft of new qualifications to meet the needs of employers,” he said. 

”A suite of 19 new qualifications is already being phased in from next September, and we have also looked at how GCSEs and A levels can cope with the rapidly evolving digital world.” 

The annual report lists key areas where Qualification Wales has made a difference during the year. These include: 

  • researching early exam entry practice which led to the government changing school performance measures; 
  • working closely with employers and educators  to investigate whether qualifications across industry sectors are fit for purpose; 
  • ensuring exam standards are maintained in Wales to be fair for learners; 
  • explaining how exams and the exam system works for people in Wales, through a range of new information.  

The annual report is available for downloading from the Qualifications Wales website.