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Issuing grades for qualifications summer 2020

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Message from Ian Morgan, Chief Executive

You will already be aware of the decision not to proceed with the summer examinations in Wales this summer, following the announcement made by Welsh Government and our regulator Qualifications Wales on Wednesday March 18.

We are committed to ensuring that learners in Wales receive a fair grade for their GCSE, A level and Skills Challenge Certificate qualifications this summer, and are working with Qualification Wales to agree the process to meet this key objective. 

Today, Qualifications Wales has published a letter to schools and colleges outlining the key aspects of the process, which will draw on different sources of evidence such as marks achieved by learners in previous internal and external assessments as well as standardised teacher assessed qualification grades.

Qualifications Wales has clearly outlined that teacher assessed grades must be based on the overall qualification grade each learner is likely to achieve at the end of their course of study, based on their performance on a range of classroom and external assessments and on their overall commitment to their studies and ability in the subject.  Teacher assessed grades, for this purpose, are not target grades or ambitious grades that learners might aspire to achieve. We will consider the full range of evidence, including teacher assessed grades, and will standardise these across the full cohort, thus leading to a final grade to award to each learner.

We will be in contact with schools and colleges in April to provide further details on how and when to submit these teacher assessed grades to us.

We are aware that learners taking AS qualifications and year 10 learners sitting some units for their GCSE qualifications this summer are seeking clarification on the arrangements being put in place to accommodate their needs. We are not in a position to provide such clarification at this stage, but we are considering options available with Qualifications Wales.  We can confirm that year 10 students sitting and cashing-in for a full GCSE qualifications this summer will achieve a qualification grade, as we will use the same process as for year 11 learners.

We are currently working with Qualifications Wales to consider how we progress with the Skills Challenge Certificate and also with other regulators for level 1/2, level 3 and entry level qualifications we offer. 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 finalise our approaches and 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. 

We wish to thank you for your patience and continued support.