Teachers to determine exam grades this summer.

Pupils who were due to face GCSE, AS and A level exams this summer have now found out how they will be graded this year.

In November, education minister Kirsty Williams announced they would not face end of year exams to determine their grades this year.

And today, Ms Williams announced that, instead of exams, pupils’ grades will be determined by their teachers, based on the work they have completed over their course.

These changes aim to ensure schools focus on teaching the content of courses ahead of pupils moving to their next stage of education, rather than focusing on what would be needed to pass exams.

If pupils in Year 10 are due to complete a qualification this year, then this approach will also apply.

Ms Williams said the decision has been made after further disruption to face-to-face learning, which has again been push back due to the pandemic.

“The worsening situation with the pandemic has meant we have no choice but to revisit our approach to ensure wellbeing and public confidence in our qualifications system,” she said.

“The proposals we are announcing today puts trust in teachers’ and lecturers’ knowledge of their learners’ work, as well as their commitment to prioritise teaching and learning in the time available to support learners’ progression.

“Teaching the core content and aspects of each course remains my absolute priority for learners in exam years, so they are supported to progress with certainty into their next steps, with confidence in their grades.

“We are working with higher education institutions to look at how we can support learners through this transition, and can provide a bridge into university courses.

“I would like to thank each and every learner and education professional for their ongoing flexibility and adaptability in responding to this incredibly difficult situation. Their continuing commitment in the face of adversity is admirable, as is their individual and collective contribution to the national effort against Covid-19.”

The announcement followed recommendations from the design and delivery advisory group that is made up of head teachers and college leaders, which was established in December by the minister to ‘support wellbeing, fairness and progression’ for pupils taking exams this year.

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