Qualified for the Future: First consultation launches

Monday 18 Nov 2019

Independent regulator Qualifications Wales has launched a major consultation to hear people’s views on the qualifications needed for the new curriculum. 

With a new Curriculum for Wales introduced from 2022, the 12-week consultation called Qualified for the Future suggests principles that will shape the range of qualifications for 16-year-olds. 

“The new curriculum represents an ambitious programme of educational reform. Our consultation sets the foundations for the range of qualifications that will guide our future work to make sure they’re fit for purpose and that they are what learners, colleges and employers want,” said Chief Executive Philip Blaker. 

“That’s why we’re launching Qualified for the Future, a series of consultations to make sure the new qualifications are both challenging and fair and that they support the new curriculum. 

“There are likely to be many changes to qualifications for 16-year-olds, so we’re going to approach the work in stages, consulting at key points when we want to test proposals. 

“We want to hear a wide range of views from everyone with an interest in the future of qualifications, not only those involved in education. 

“Our vision throughout this consultation process is that 16-year-olds in Wales take globally respected qualifications that inspire and prepare them for life, learning and work.” 

Welsh Government’s new curriculum will be introduced in schools from 2022, with the qualifications being taught from 2025 and the first exams taken in 2027. 

The consultation seeks views on key aspects of the regulator’s approach to deciding the qualifications that will be available for 16-year-olds under the new curriculum. It outlines proposals to: 

  • keep GCSEs as the central part of qualifications, but redesign them so that they have a good fit with the new curriculum;  
  • that there should be a requirement for awarding bodies to make qualifications available bilingually; 
  • include a stand-alone qualification that supports the development and assessment of the wider skills defined in the new curriculum; and, 
  • establish a set of principles to streamline the range of qualifications available to schools. 

As well as a main consultation document, Qualifications Wales is offering easy read and youth friendly versions to encourage contributions. All are available on the Qualifications Wales website. 

A series of public meetings are also being arranged across Wales in Bangor, Llanelli, Newtown, Wrexham and Nantgarw. 

The consultation runs from Monday 18 November to Friday 7 February. Full details, including the consultation documents, video interviews and information on how to respond, are on the Qualifications Wales website.