Examinations Update, 2020
Following the government's announcement that examinations will not take place this summer, our teams have been working closely with Qualifications Wales and Welsh Government to put in place suitable arrangements to ensure learners entered for qualifications this summer receive a fair qualification grade.
Last week, we outlined the approach we are taking for GCSE and A level learners; the full statement is available here (https://www.wjec.co.uk/about-us/latest-news/issuing-grades-for-qualifications-summer-2020). We have been involved in discussions with Qualifications Wales and with Welsh Government and, following on from the announcement made today by Kirsty Williams (https://media.service.gov.wales/news/education-minister-announces-exam-arrangements-for-years-10-and-12) and the statement by Qualifications Wales (https://qualificationswales.org/english/coronavirus---covid-19/), we can now confirm the approach we will be taking for AS and Year 10 GCSE learners following WJEC specifications.
AS level learners
In our WJEC specifications in Wales, AS levels are not solely stand-alone qualifications; they also contribute to A level qualifications. AS units are usually taken in Year 12 and A2 units in Year 13. Some learners may just sit AS qualifications and not progress to the A level. As exams are not being held this summer, we understand this will have implications for those learners entering for stand-alone AS qualifications and for those taking their AS units this year leading on to the full A level next year. We are pleased to inform you that we have now come to an agreement with Qualifications Wales and Welsh Government to take the following steps in respect of our WJEC specifications.
. Learners who were due to sit their AS exams this summer will not be required to sit those exams.
. AS learners will be awarded a qualification in a similar way to those taking GCSEs and A levels this summer.
. AS learners will receive a final AS grade from WJEC this summer, which will be based on a range of evidence, including teacher assessed grades.
. The AS grade awarded to learners this summer will not contribute to their A level results in 2021.
. In summer 2021, AS learners will be given two options for their A level qualifications, either to:
1. sit their A2 units only, and their grade will be awarded based solely on their performance in those units (which will be used to calculate marks for their AS units)
2. sit both AS and A2 units, if they wish to do so.
. If learners decide to take option 2 next year, we will also consider the grade they would have been awarded if they took option 1. Their final grade will be the best grade awarded from either option.
Year 10 GCSE learners
For learners in Year 10 who were due to sit units to complete their GCSE qualification this summer, they will be issued a grade following the same process we outlined last week for Year 11 GCSE learners.
For learners in Year 10 who were due to sit units only, rather than completing an entire GCSE qualification this summer, we will not be issuing unit results. Those learners will be provided with two options which are either to
1. sit the Year 11 units in summer 2021, and their final overall GCSE grade will be calculated on the basis of their performance on those units
2. sit the Year 10 units in summer 2021, along with their Year 11 units.
If learners decide to take option 2 next year, we will also consider the grade they would have been awarded if they took option 1. Their final grade will be the best grade awarded from either option.
Teacher assessed grades
Qualification grades will be calculated on the basis of teacher assessed grades along with a range of other evidence. Qualifications Wales will be issuing further guidance on teacher assessed grades next week.
Non-exam assessment (NEA)
We have posted guidance for NEA and controlled assessments on our website, the full statement is available from the following link (https://www.wjec.co.uk/about-us/latest-news/nea-update-for-centres-in-wales-march-2020?language_id=1). Additional guidance has also been issued to all Exams Officers in Wales.
Skills Challenge Certificate
Our statement regarding NEA also covers the controlled assessments learners will have completed as part of their Skills Challenge Certificate qualifications. We have confirmed with Qualifications Wales that we will issue results to learners taking the Skills Challenge Certificate based on teacher assessed grades as well as a range of other evidence.
We are continuing to work with Qualifications Wales and with other regulators to consider how we will progress with awarding qualifications for learners with entries this summer for a range of level 1/2, level 3, entry level and entry pathway qualifications we offer. We will provide further information in due course.
We are continuing to work with Ofqual regarding our Eduqas GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications which are offered by some centres in Wales. We will provide further information in due course.
We understand that this a particularly stressful time for our teachers and learners and that many of you have further questions you wish us to answer. We can assure you that we are working tirelessly to ensure that learners, who have worked hard in preparing for their qualifications over a number of years, are treated fairly. We will publish some FAQs as soon as possible, which we will build on over the coming weeks to provide as much clarity as possible in these challenging times. Information will be posted on our website and social media channels, and we encourage our teachers and learners to view these regularly.
We wish to thank you for your patience and continued support.