Reshaping the wider 14-16 qualifications offer in Wales

We want to know which qualifications should be available alongside new GCSEs to meet the needs of all learners aged 14 to 16 and support the new Curriculum for Wales.

What is the wider offer?

The wider offer refers to all non-GCSE qualifications studied by learners aged 14 to 16. We’re looking at qualifications from entry level and up and looking at a wide range of subjects such as such as the World of Work, Financial Capability, Careers Development, Equality and Diversity, Food Safety, Essential Skills, Sport and First Aid. 

To put it into context, there are roughly 1,200 qualifications in this space.

What has been done so far?

We have reviewed the current qualifications offer and how this aligns to the new Curriculum for Wales, evaluating the international equivalents and comparing qualifications in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, known as a ‘desk-based review’.

We have been speaking and listening to learners, teachers, headteachers, employers, parents/carers, training providers, universities, awarding bodies and others over the last few months.

We also shared two online questionnaires, one for learners and one for others with an interest in qualifications for 14 to 16-year-olds in Wales. The questionnaires explored the following ideas:

  • What future qualifications and subjects are needed in this space?
  • Which skills are needed for learners in this age group?
  • What role does assessment play in these qualifications?
  • How should digital technology be used in these qualifications?
  • What are the progression routes for post-16 learning?

What will happen next?

We have analysed the findings from our online questionnaires, feedback from stakeholders and desk-based reviews.

We’re also running some follow-up engagement with certain groups to explore the initial thinking that evolved from the first round of our stakeholder engagement.

We’ll be presenting our findings and asking for your views in early 2023. We’ll share more information on this nearer the time.