Education Minister announces exam arrangements for Years 10 and 12Friday 27 Mar 2020
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has announced how current Year 10 and 12 learners in Wales will be assessed, as alternative arrangements are introduced following the outbreak of the coronavirus and the cancellation of summer exams.
The Minister has decided that Year 10 and 12 students who were due to sit exams this summer will not be required to sit these exams at a later date.
The Minister’s decision was based on detailed consideration of the options available and advice from Qualifications Wales and the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).
In Wales, as well as being stand-alone qualifications, AS levels also contribute to A level qualifications. AS units are usually taken in Year 12, with A2 units taken in Year 13.
This year’s AS learners will still receive an AS grade. However, it will be calculated using a range of evidence, including teacher assessed grades.
In summer 2021, current AS learners will have two options for their A level award. They will choose whether to:
- only sit the A2 units, with the A level grade based on their performance in the A2 units;
- or sit both the AS and A2 units. They will be awarded the best grade from either route.
Year 10 learners who were due to sit exams that would have led to a GCSE this summer will be issued a grade in the same way as those in Year 11. The grade will be based on evidence including teacher assessments during the academic year to date.
Those who were due to sit units that will lead to GCSE results next summer will not receive a unit result. Instead, those learners will have two choices, to either:
- sit only the units they plan to take in summer 2021, with their GCSE grade based on that performance only;
- or sit the Year 10 units in summer 2021, along with the Year 11 units. They will be awarded the best grade from either route.
Kirsty Williams said:
“In these unprecedented times, it’s vital we provide as much certainty to young people as we can, especially those who were due to sit important exams this summer. This has not been an easy decision, but I’m confident these measures for Years 10 and 12 are the best way forward and will provide clarity for those students who were anxious about how their hard work would be recognised.
“Since the decision to close schools and cancel this summer’s exams, we have worked as quickly as possible to develop the detailed information students need.
“I would like to thank students for their patience and I will continue to provide updates to students as soon as I can.”
Philip Blaker, Chief Executive Qualifications Wales, said:
“We welcome the Minister’s decision, which provides greater clarity on this summer’s exams for everyone involved in these qualifications. In very difficult circumstances we think this offers the best approach for learners studying for AS and those in Year 10.
“Beyond this, there is more work happening to find solutions across other qualifications. We remain focused on doing the right thing to protect learners at this disruptive time and we will continue to update as often as we possibly can.”
Ian Morgan, Chief Executive of WJEC:
"Following the Minister’s decision last week about school closures and the cancellation of this summer’s exams, we have been working closely with Qualifications Wales to consider the impact for all learners.
“We welcome today’s announcement on the options available to year 10 and 12 learners. We will work as swiftly as possible to put all the necessary actions in place and ensure that learners receive recognition for all their hard work, are treated fairly and receive the qualifications they deserve.”
For GCSEs, AS, A levels and the Skills Challenge Certificate teacher assessed grades will be collected as part of the evidence for determining final qualification grades. Guidance on these teacher assessed grades will be issued to schools and colleges next week.
Further guidance on non-exam assessments, which would have been at various stages in their completion at the time when schools were closed, has already been issued by WJEC.